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At last, the Gilroy Garlic Festival will have air conditioning.

No more baking in the mid-summer heat at Christmas Hill Park, where the temperature on the ground is further elevated by the intense flames of the pyro chefs. No more jostling for position underneath the row of redwood trees, just trying to find shade and a cool place to eat.

Because in 2021, all we have to do is get behind the wheel, turn the A/C on max, and let the chefs bring the food to us, without breaking a sweat.

A drive-thru Gourmet Alley experience will be the centerpiece of events the Gilroy Garlic Festival has lined up in the summer. Gilroy Presbyterian Church will be the epicenter of garlic during the final two weekends of July, where attendees can pick up their hot food from the comfort of their own vehicles.

Also on the Garlic Festival’s schedule is a “farm-to-table” dinner on July 24 at Fortino Winery featuring local wine and food. In addition, the Garlic Festival Golf Classic is scheduled for July 30 at the Gilroy Golf Course.

The smaller series of events is a welcome change for the Garlic Festival. The festival’s mission—supporting countless community organizations through fundraising—often seemed to get lost during the years of massive, overwhelming events that drew upwards of 100,000 people, focusing on the hottest celebrity chefs and attracting as many out-of-town visitors as possible.

These smaller events can help the festival get back to its roots: a gathering of good friends and even better food for the best causes.

What better way for Gilroy to heal than coming together at the Garlic Festival? For a city that forever changed over the span of a few minutes during the shooting at the festival on July 28, 2019, and was further trampled in March 2020 and the year that followed, we can rejoice at last.

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