Garlic Festival breaks silence

The Gilroy Garlic Festival broke more than a week of silence since the day after the mass shooting at its festival with a post on the home page of the festival website Aug 8. The post stated, “We are taking our first steps toward healing,” and thanks the community for its support.

“Together we look forward to brighter days to come and to Festival 42 in July 2020,” the unsigned statement concludes.

There was no mention of the shooting, the victims who lost their lives or the injured. Two people remained hospitalized Aug.19.

Festival executive director Brian Bowe made a brief statement the evening of the July 28 shooting. He has not responded to phone calls or emails since the shooting. The festival office in Gilroy remained closed as of Aug. 20.

All of the festival’s web pages except the home page have been disabled since the day after the shooting, which left three spectators and the gunman dead, 13 injured and thousands traumatized on the last afternoon of the annual festival.

The new message read, in full:

“Even in our mourning, we are taking our first steps toward healing. Recovery begins with appreciation for our entire community—you—who have shared your time, prayers and support. We would like to thank:

“The Gilroy Police Department, who responded with bravery and professionalism;

“The first responders and volunteers, who reacted without hesitation even while their own lives were at risk;

“The medical and mental health care providers, who continue to provide care; there are no words to express our gratitude and lasting admiration;

“Our 4,000-plus volunteers who organized and hosted the festival and continue our shared mission;

“The artists, craftspeople, vendors and musicians who exhibited, entertained and performed for our guests; and

“Our community partners, who continue to support us and our commitment to bring the community together to raise funds for local organizations.

“Together we look forward to brighter days to come and to Festival 42 in July 2020.”

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