South Bay News

Annual garlic festival kicks off in Gilroy

Friday, July 26, 2013

The 35th annual Gilroy Garlic Festival kicks off Friday. It's full of food and activity booths featuring all things garlic, along with music, a wine pavilion and events for the kids.

The festival is expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors this year.

The festival elects a queen and her court each year, but the second year, in 1980, the queen refused to wear her crown of garlic bulbs, causing a minor scandal. Queen Olivia Echeverria now wears a more traditional crown, but she's an unabashed lover of garlic.

"It's embarrassing how many jars of chopped garlic I have in my fridge as well as the fresh stuff," she said.

The festival has become a major food event where every dish reeks of garlic. The proceeds go toward a wide range of community groups. Over its 35 years, the festival has given back over $9.7 million to sports teams, scout troops, hospitals and food banks. It takes 4,000 volunteers to make it happen.

Carla Hall, co-host of ABC's "The Chew," will host Sunday's garlic showdown.

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gilroy, food, south bay news, david louie
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