• When and where: The Gilroy Garlic Festival runs from 10 a.m.
to 7 p.m. Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28 at Christmas Hill
Park, located in the middle of Gilroy where Miller Avenue meets
Uvas Creek. Gates close at 6 p.m.
• When and where: The Gilroy Garlic Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28 at Christmas Hill Park, located in the middle of Gilroy where Miller Avenue meets Uvas Creek. Gates close at 6 p.m.
• Tickets: General admission is $10. Tickets for senior citizens over 60 and children, ages 6 to 12, are $5. Children under 6 are admitted free.
• Cocktail conversation background: This is the festival’s 24th year. More than 4,000 volunteers power the inner workings – making pepper steak sandwiches, picking up trash, putting up the shade tents – and all the volunteers end up being paid an ‘hourly wage’ that goes to the charity they have agreed to volunteer for.
• Geography: There are two sides to Christmas Hill Park, the Ranch Side is north of Miller Avenue which normally cuts through the park and the Park Side. Miller Avenue is closed for the festival.
• If you’re driving: It won’t be hard to miss the large signs directing you to the parking lots located near the park. Shuttle busses will transport guests to and from the park. Handicapped parking and transportation is available. If you’re local enough to know better, drive the city streets to Miller Avenue, park and walk a half mile. Or, better yet, ride your bicycle along the beautiful Uvas Levee and cruise into the best party west New Orleans.
• Refreshments: Free water is available at Gates 2 and 5. Three beer gardens and three wine tents are located throughout the grounds. P.S. – The Gilroy Foundation has a wine cooler booth. Ask for a ‘Tickle Pink’ – you won’t be disappointed.
• Restrooms: Unisex bathrooms (OK, they’re port-a-pottys) – 360 of them – are located around the perimeter of the park. Go before you get to the fest and you can keep the trips to a minimum.
• Hot souvenir: Buy a Garlic Festival Bobblehead doll – quickly. There are only 1,000 and the Garlic Festival Seer says they’ll be all gone Friday. (Weathervanes, by the way, are passe.)
• First aid: Volunteers from the American Red Cross will be on hand to deal with minor injuries. Emergency services are located on the park side between the Children’s area and administration. Paramedics on bikes also will roam the festival grounds.
• Be kind, leave your pet at home: Don’t bring your pet. The festival used to have a kennel to keep animals, but that’s been discontinued. So, there’s nowhere to stash Fido.
• Short on cash: ATMs will be set up near the Amphitheater, in the middle of the park near Gourmet Alley and on the Ranch side near Garlic Avenue. Also, ATMs will be outside gates 2
• What to bring: Your driver’s license for the beer gardens or wine booths, a hat or visor, sunscreen, money (remember this is a charity) and don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes. If you want a camera, the disposable variety will be sold at information booths on the festival grounds. If all else fails, flag down a Dispatch photographer and ask for a shot with your friends.
• Security: Plenty of Gilroy Police officers will roam the grounds, particularly on Saturday afternoon near the Amphitheater before and after the ever-popular rock ‘n’ roll band Shaboom plays. Some officers will be on horseback at peak crowd times. Security personnel will man the gates with electronic wands and parole officers will be on hand.
• Arts and crafts: More than 107 artisans, selling everything from pottery to garlic bulb earrings, offer their wares – 20 new crafts vendors made it to ‘Big Garlic Show’ this year. Booths will be spilt this year between the Ranch and Park sides.
• Hot tickets: Toe rings at arts and crafts on the Park side. Rock ‘n roll band Shaboom at the Amphitheater Stage – 1:45 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Garlic Cook-off from 9 to noon Saturday.