Get your taste buds ready. The Gilroy Garlic Festival is back and celebrating its 35th anniversary this weekend.
The traditional Bay Area event held at Christmas Hill Park will return July 26-28 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The festival, designed for all ages, will feature culinary competitions, live entertainment and a children’s area complete with arts and crafts, jump houses, and rides.
Food favorites such as BBQ chicken, pulled pork sandwiches and gourmet burgers will be available as well as the festival’s infamous garlic ice cream. If you’re feeling daring, you can check out unique creations such as garlic jelly, garlic frog legs and fried garlic.
Festival attendees can also expect to see some familiar faces. Country music artists Austin Webb and Charlie Worsham will take the stage on Saturday, and “Top Chef” finalist Carla Hall will host Sunday’s Garlic Showdown. The iron chef-style competition holds a top prize of $5,000.
The Gilroy Garlic Festival was dreamed up in 1978 by the late Gavilan Community College president and garlic lover Dr. Rudy Malone and Don Christopher, whose Gilroy-based Christopher Ranch remains one of the world’s largest garlic shippers. The festival has grown into a major fundraiser for local charities and continuously supports non-profit groups and projects throughout the city of Gilroy.
General admission for the festival is $17. Admission for children 6-12 and seniors 60 and over is $8, and children 6 and under are free.
Two-dollar discounted tickets can be purchased online or at any Raley’s, Bel Air and Nob Hill Foods locations.