Two years after a mass shooting at the event that killed three people and injured 17 others, the Gilroy Garlic Festival is returning in an altered, pandemic form, as a drive-through.
The 42-year-old Gilroy Garlic Festival hasn't happened since July 2019, when a 19-year-old gunman with unspecific but anger-driven motives snuck onto the festival grounds and shot indiscriminately into the crowd before being shot several times by police and dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
This year, the festival's Gourmet Alley food vendors are returning for two consecutive weekends, taking pre-orders and serving up their garlicky dishes in a drive-through setup at Gilroy Presbyterian Church (6000 Miller Avenue). The food's being served from 4 to 7 p.m. today and next Friday, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, July 24-25, and July 31-August 1.
All proceeds are going to support the festival's nonprofit, which went a full year with no revenue last year — and which has distributed nearly $12 million to local organizations since its founding in 1979.
The menu is as follows:
- Steak Combo: Pepper Steak Sandwich, Shrimp Scampi,World-Famous Garlic Bread, $25
- Sausage Combo: Sausage Sandwich, Shrimp Scampi,World-Famous Garlic Bread, $25
- Pepper Steak Sandwich, $14
- Sausage Sandwich, $14
- World-Famous Garlic Bread: Half Loaf, $10
- Garlic Fries, $10
- Shrimp Scampi, $10
"We’re at Gourmet Alley where all the garlic food that you’ve been waiting to have for the last two years will be here," says Garlic Festival President Tom Cline, speaking to KPIX. "We’ve been challenged, last year with no revenue, we had to re-imagine it. So, this year, our volunteers are doing their service in kind to us raise money for the festival because we need that help."
Pre-orders can be made here, and you can either set up a specific pickup time, or ask for your food ASAP. It does not appear possible, though, to get food at the drive-through without pre-ordering.
The Garlic Festival Golf Classic is still on, and that's happening next Friday, July 30, and there's also a farm-to-table dinner happening tomorrow night at Fortino Winery.
If you can't make it down there for scampi and want to donate to the festival, you can do that here.