Marketing assistant Maya tells us about her first time to Gilroy, California for the 35th Annual Garlic Festival…
Welcome to Gilroy, California. Nestled in the Central Valley, this city is famous for it’s agriculture and especially it’s garlic, which for one weekend, draws thousands of people every year from all over the country.
The infamous Garlic Fries are advertised from miles away…
Christmas Hill Park is the location of the festival and despite being a large venue, the event still felt crowded at all times.
The festival continues to raise money for local non-profits and volunteer organizations such as Gilroy HS, Live Oak Emerald Regime and many others.
I was really eager to try all the yummy foods I could smell so my first stop was the Artichoke stall: These were deep or “french” fried and a truly delicious breakfast choice. I think a lemon aioli would have been a better sauce than the rather generic Newman’s Own ranch.
This is the infamous Garlic Ice cream (Garlic Chocolate flavor), served in a half cantaloupe. It was surprisingly yummy! I can’t wait to try more flavors next year!
This corn looked too good not to try- the garlic salt and butter were subtle and nice touches to a deliciously crunchy and fresh ear of corn.
These were spotted in hands everywhere and looked huge.
The Garlic festival official vendors has a bustling stall- and were handing out samples of all their delicious garlic sauces and salsa.
They even offered a festival in a bag to take home- a great gift for people who couldn’t attend!
Behind the scenes, these guys kept putting more and more ears and legs on the grills.
This BBQ stall also had a huge line and smelt amazingly smokey.
More exotic cuisine was offered and seemingly enjoyed by many. The lines for this stall were long!
It was nice to see many ethnic cuisines represented. After all, many cultures use garlic in their cooking!
This “rain” tent was set up to relive guests from the extreme sunshine that was blazing down.
Limited edition souvenir wine glasses were available….
As were many other garlicky products!
We found the recipe for the best garlic bread ever (I have plans to try this soon!)
Christopher Ranch Elephant Garlic
Natural Cypress Sea Salt Flakes by Swedish comapny Falksalt looked yummy
The beer selection wasn’t as great as it could have been considering the amount of California Craft and mircobrews available but the souvenir cup made them taste much better!
It seemed like some people couldn’t handle the heat as well as others!
I chose to pair my garlic flavors with something more flavorful and headed to the wine tent…
These blended Mimosas were delicious- the term “blended” referred to the frozen chunk of sparkling wine that was the base of the drink.
The real theme of this festival was Eat.Love.Garlic.
They had some great souvenirs and appeal on sale.
The Garlic Grove was a great tent where volunteers gave instructions of growing your own garlic and they even gave you a little starter pack- FREE OF CHARGE!
Local chef Jason Lavinsky gives a great demo including an easy recipe for Lavender simple syrup which I have made at home to put in cookie dough.
Garlic hats a-plenty….
As always, main sponsors Lucero Olive Oil had a wonderful stall and was handing out free samples of their different delicious elixirs.
Every time I see their kiosk, I am astounded by their range and really clean modern packaging design.
Guests enjoy more freebies: Girls are photographed enjoying Kings Hawaiian Buns samples
The famous Pasta Con Pesto or more appropriately, “Pasta Con Garlic-Pesto”.
The Garlic Rosemary Chicken Sandwich was not the most flavorful and was a little lack luster in comparison to everything else.
On our way out of the festival to our car, we were surprised by the amount of beautifully landscaped yards with a huge range of plants and flowers everywhere in Gilroy. It is obviously a city that really appreciates and celebrates all of Nature’s creations.
Limited Edition Gilroy Garlic Festival Gift Baskets!
In honor of the amazing Gilroy Garlic Festival- we created two custom garlic baskets filled with delicious goodies bought at the garlic festival including yummy brands such as Lucero , Popchips, Gil’s Gourmet, The Stinking Rose, Miner’s Mix and Christopher Ranch.
For more information on the Gilroy Garlic Festival, visit this site: http://gilroygarlicfestival.com/
Over 2 hours from Sacramento
Under 2 hours from San Francisco
Under 5 hours from Los Angeles
Christmas Hill Park
Gilroy, CA 95020