The Great Gilroy Gobbler Gathering

Downtown event will raise money to feed the needy this holiday
Gilroy – Downtown business owners have teamed up with barbecue aficionados for a turkey cook-off that will feed hundreds of poor families this holiday season.

The first annual Great Gilroy Gobbler Gathering will take place Dec. 3 and 4, the same weekend the local chamber of commerce holds its downtown Christmas Parade, Santa’s visit and tree lighting.

As part of the cook-off, about 35 members of the California BBQ Association will roll out their grills in a downtown parking lot and cook 200 turkeys.

Steve Ashford, a member of the Downtown Business Association who helped organize the event, said the food would be distributed to St. Joseph’s Family Center, the Salvation Army, the National Armory and to families in local migrant communities.

David Cox, director of St. Joseph’s, said the group’s food bank hopes to distribute 700 turkeys to families in need this winter.

“I’m hoping this (event) will be a kind of stimulus to the community to help out. It’s always stressful this time of year,” he said. “We’re in panic mode right now, but people always seem to step up.”

In addition to the city’s traditional holiday activities, residents attending the weekend event will have a chance to try barbecue pork sandwiches and grilled turkey legs. The festivities also will include performances from local bands and hula dancers.

The event takes place from 11am to 6pm both days of the weekend in the parking lot at the corner of Lewis and Monterey streets.

Wal-Mart Supercenter plans to donate half the turkeys and offer discounted prices for the remainder, Ashford said. Organizers are asking that residents donate $15 to $20 to help purchase the turkeys. Those interested in donating should contact Ashford at 842-8236 or Dave Peoples at 842-6501.

To learn more about the barbecue association, visit

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