Parking fees have been added to this year’s 38th annual Gilroy Garlic Festival.
Organizers say participants will be charged $10 to park near Christmas Hill Park.
“That land that we’ve had the benefit of using for so many years for our parking which is right up on the hillsides, now there is a bunch of beautiful new homes being built up there so we can’t park there anymore,” said Brian Bowe, Executive Director of the Gilroy Garlic Festival.
Bowe says the newly identified parking areas are about three miles from the festival site, so air-conditioned parking shuttles will transport participants between both areas throughout the day.
“We have an added expense with all of the motor coaches we’re running to bring our attendees from the parking lots into the festival. That’s about a $300,000 expense for us just on those buses alone,” Bowe said.
Some Gilroy residents have complained about the new fee and additional traffic to the area. Festival organizers say they don’t anticipate added congestion to the city.
For those who may not want to drive to the three-day festival, Caltrain is offering a “Garlic train.” For $20, participants can ride non-stop from San Jose Diridon station to the Gilroy station. A bus will then take commuters to the festival.
Parking tickets are available online, as well as festival entry tickets and Cal Train tickets.