Garlic Fest ’15: Newbies make trek to festival

Emerson Hublou, 8, looks down at her dad as she climbs the rock wall on Sunday during the Garlic Festival.

GILROY—As people descended on the Gilroy Garlic Festival in droves over the weekend, a number of them did so for the first time.
“I’ve wanted to come for years, but I don’t drive and you can’t get here from Caltrain,” said Kiristen Roland who made the trek from San Francisco. “But I finally rented a car.”
She and Jeremy Bivaud made the trip despite reading negative reviews on Yelp, particularly about how bad the traffic can get.
Roland said the traffic was a bit congested, especially since some of the roads coming up to the festival were blocked off by CHP, but said it was worth the trouble.
Meanwhile, Bivaud came down from the City despite being adverse to the stinky rose.
But that didn’t stop him from sampling some of the Garlic Festival’s wares, including the famous garlic ice cream.
“I was really looking forward to the ice cream and beer. So far so good,” Bivaud said.
While Bivaud isn’t a fan of garlic, the pungent vegetable is precisely why Sebastian Conley came down from Lafayette.
“My sister told me this was one of the top 10 food festivals in the country,” Conley said.
And the food didn’t disappoint.
He and his family got satisfying helpings of garlic bread, the scampi and pesto, calling all of it “very tasty.”
But of course, he couldn’t say no to the garlic ice cream.
“I’m kind of loving this garlic ice cream,” Conley said. “Who would think of that?”
The Garlic Festival has a little bit of everything for everyone. From crafts to the top-notch food and music, people found just about anything that fit their interests.
That includes the children.
Emerson Hublou, 8, came down from Redwood City with her dad and sister for the first time this year and took advantage of the games set up for children, even with a little bribery.
Her father Scott promised her and her sister whatever dessert they wanted if they climbed the rock wall.
It was an offer neither could refuse.
“It was fun, but I was not tall enough to get up the rock (easily),” Emerson said.
Still she stretched out her fingers and pushed the button at the top of the rock wall to signal her successful completion.
After she came down, he had one thing on her mind: cashing in on dad’s promise.
“I just want a large ice cream,” she said as she mimed a bowl roughly the size of herself.
Though it was Emerson’s fist time to the festival, her father had been before and knew how to successfully get around the traffic that brought Highway 101 to a standstill.
But Scott said it had been about 10 years since he last visited and was impressed with how the festival has evolved.
“It’s really managed to spread out. I remember the last time I came feeling so cramped,” Scott said.