The Gilroy Garlic Festival Association announced that Brian Bowe, who has served as Executive Director for the festival for 14 years, has officially resigned. In a Dec. 13 statement, the association will begin conducting an outside search for a new executive director. Bowe will stay on for a period of time to help with the transition, the association said.
“It’s been an honor to serve as executive director for the Gilroy Garlic Festival for 14 years, and I am immensely proud of all the festival has done to support the local community,” Bowe said in a statement.
“After much introspection, I truly believe that the festival will benefit from a fresh perspective in the executive director position. I am looking forward to what my future holds.”
Bowe’s resignation announcement came four and one-half months after a mass shooting at the 41st annual festival resulted in four deaths and 14 injuries, and one month after five of the injured survivors filed suit against the association, alleging lax security measures contributed to the shooting deaths.
Tom Cline, President of the 2020 Gilroy Garlic Festival, stated, “On behalf of the entire association and the more than 4,000 volunteers who work at the Festival every year, we are incredibly grateful to Brian Bowe for providing such outstanding leadership over the last 14 years. His tireless dedication to the Festival and all of the non-profit groups that we support has been unmatched. We wish him all the best in the future—and hope he will come visit us all at the 42nd annual Gilroy Garlic Festival on July 24, 25 and 26, 2020.”