Gilroy draws visitors from lands far, far away

Peter and Jacqui Wren-Hilton of New Zealand were also in town on

Where do G-Fest’s most-traveled visitors hail from?
Tom, Claire and Natasha Lee’s delightful accents set them apart
from the crowd of mostly Californians at the 33rd Gilroy Garlic
Festival this weekend. The family hails from London, England.
Watch a video of what people were eating at the festival
here.
Where do G-Fest’s most-traveled visitors hail from?

Tom, Claire and Natasha Lee’s delightful accents set them apart from the crowd of mostly Californians at the 33rd Gilroy Garlic Festival this weekend.

The family hails from London, England.

Their story: Tom and Claire are here on business, and decided to peruse the festival with 3-month-old daughter Natasha. This is their first time in Gilroy. When we bumped into this trio from across the pond, Claire was enjoying a pepper steak sandwich. Tom, however, declared the garlic ice cream “a little too extreme.”

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Peter and Jacqui Wren-Hilton from New Zealand.

Their story: This friendly pair of kiwis were here on business and ogled at the Garlic Festival’s “big crowds,” since “we have less people living in New Zealand than you do in Santa Clara County,” remarked Jacqui. The two said the weather in Gilroy is much warmer compared to their home continent, which has its own iconic culinary extravaganza celebrating a small, green fruit: The Kiwi Festival. “You can’t believe what you can do with kiwi until you get to that festival,” said Peter.

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Javier Urbalejo from Tecate, Mexico.

His story: At the Garlic Festival, Urbalejo blends into a crowd. Back home, that’s a little harder for him to do. Urbalejo, the mayor of Gilroy’s sister city in Tecate, Mexcio, was the only sister city representative to visit the Garlic Festival in 2011. Even though he had to catch a flight back to Tecate at noon Friday, Urbalejo happily attended the festival’s opening ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. “This is great. I’m very excited to be here,” he said, following the lighting of the garlic bulb flame.

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Chinando Pacis from Hawaii.

His story: Having already traveled from Hawaii to visit family in Livermore for the weekend, what was another 60 miles to Gilroy for Chinando? At 10:30 a.m. Friday, he and dozens of others had already lined up to taste the festival’s famed garlic ice cream. “It’s interesting. It tastes pretty good,” he said.

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