Gilroy Garlic Festival

Gilroy Garlic Festival Cancels Annual Event Indefinitely

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Gilroy Garlic Festival Association announced Thursday that it's canceling the popular annual event indefinitely.

In a letter, the festival board blamed the pandemic along with high insurance premiums.

"Obviously, we are left frustrated and disappointed," according to a board statement. "Our world-renowned festival has helped showcase Gilroy and the South County for 42 years while raising millions of dollars for local charities. The festival is part of our heritage. Now we must ensure that it is part of our future. While it will never be the massive event of the past, a more intimate, local festival can still allow us to celebrate the community, garlic, and all it inspires."

Ultimately, it was about money.

“It was over the 10 years of just losing money was the main culprit and the main cause of what was going on with the festival and being able to be sustainable,” Gilroy Garlic Festival Board Member Tom Cline told our NBC affiliate KSBW.

This year, the board plans to have the following events spread throughout the year, including its second annual golf tournament June 24; a concert with KRTY Radio at Clos La Chance Winery July 13; and a "Farm to Table" dinner this fall.

The Gilroy Garlic Festival has been a much-loved annual event and a mainstay since the late 1970s.

The festival was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, and it was a drive-thru event last year.

In 2019, a mass shooting occurred at the festival, killing three people and injuring 17 others. The gunman killed himself after a shootout with police officers.

Bay City News contributed to the report.

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