Smelly Festival Beats the Recession

Despite the economy, the 2009 Gilroy Garlic Festival attracted a sizeable crowd and raised well over a million dollars for charity

With economic recovery still a distant dream and gas prices high, one would think that a hot, smelly festival in the middle of nowhere would experience a significant decrease in attendance.

But that was not the case at the Gilroy Garlic Festival this year.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that 108,519 people ponied up the $12 for admission to the event, a slight increase over last year. Over $1.7 million was raised, and much of that will be donated to hundreds of charities and nonprofits.

This year's attractions included free garlic ice cream, a plethora of garlicky food items, live music, art vendors, arts and crafts for children, a beauty pageant, and a recipe contest and cook-off.

Organizers said that the good turnout this year will allow them to make sustainability a priority for the 2010 festival.

Garlic Dance Off
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