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Gilroy
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February 5, 2023

Traffic relief in sight for Gilroy Garlic Fest, organizers say

A parking lot change during the 36th Annual Gilroy Garlic Festival will shift about half the load to East Day Road and alleviate traffic on Santa Teresa Boulevard, festival organizers said.
Out-of-town Gilroy Garlic Festival motorists from both north and south can still follow the signs entering the 2014 Gilroy Garlic Festival from Highway 101. Local residents may notice some relief in the bottlenecking along Santa Teresa Boulevard, according to festival organizers.
“We’re hoping that with less attendees traveling on Santa Teresa that it does in fact alleviate some of the traffic in and around town,” Garlic Festival executive director Brian Bowe said.
For years, festival organizers worked to shift about half the parking load in anticipation of Glen Loma development, Bowe said.
Festival-goers driving south from the Bay Area will now park on a roughly 40-acre lot on the south side of Day Road East and take a shuttle to the festival grounds about three miles away. As in years past, these motorists will still exit Highway 101 at Masten Avenue.
Motorists headed north to Gilroy will follow signs as usual and park on the remaining roughly 50 percent parking capacity maintained off Santa Teresa Boulevard and Ballybunion Drive above Ascension Solorsano Middle School. Two shuttle routes will bus attendees to and from the festival grounds parking near Christmas Hill Park, as well as the remote lot off Day Road East. All shuttle buses will be dropping off their passengers at the Miller Red Barn, according to Bowe.
Gilroy residents taking advantage of the locals’ discount on Friday night, July 25 or purchasing a three-day pass for $30 may see some traffic relief on their way to the festival, according to Bowe.
And the new lot created off Day Road East may also save visitors some time.
“The attendees should be able to get in and out of the parking lot on Day Road more easily because it’s a shorter drive and closer to the freeway,” he said.
The parking change was no shock to festival organizers who have been planning for the change quite awhile.
It could turn out to be a blessing in disguise. If configured to maximize spaces, the new property off Day Road is more regularly shaped than the Glen Loma property, will also allow more fine-tuning to accommodate spaces. No spaces were lost during the move.
“It has been convenient for decades. We have been planning for it, and we’re going to adapt,” Bowe said.
Bowe said that Christmas Hill Park is a fantastic venue for Gilroy Garlic Festival and that maintaining the location is a top priority.
Anyone with questions about parking can visit gilroygarlicfestival.com or call (408) 842-1625.

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