(KRON) – The Gilroy Garlic Festival has been around for 42 years, so this is going to be a shock to many. Festival organizers say they are not moving forward with the event for the foreseeable future.
The festival’s board of directors announced this citing lingering issues from the COVID-19 pandemic along with prohibitive insurance requirements by the city of Gilroy.
The world famous garlic festival has become apart of Gilroy’s heritage since the 1970’s.
Thousands of people travel from all over to experience various dishes with garlic in it and see famous chefs cook it up, and the event has raised millions of dollars for local charities.
Unfortunately, the board says the garlic festival will never be the massive event it has been in the past.
Instead it could one day be a more intimate local festival allowing the community to celebrate still but all of that is unknown.
People who go every year will surely be disappointed and sad to hear this, especially after all the festival has survived.
In 2019, a mass shooting happened at the festival killing three people and injuring 17 others.
It was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic and last year it was a drive-thru event.
The festival board says its disappointed and hopes to bring this garlic festival back in some capacity, some day, but it certainly won’t be this year.
KRON4 reached out to the organizers of the Gilroy Garlic Festival and received the following statement:
“Due to lingering uncertainties from the pandemic, along with the prohibitive insurance requirements by the City of Gilroy, the Gilroy Garlic Festival Board has decided not to move ahead with a traditional festival for 2022 — and perhaps the foreseeable future.
The City of Gilroy does require a minimum general liability coverage level of $1 Million for any events occurring in city parks, on city streets, on city sidewalks, in city parking lots, in city buildings, or taking place in any city facility. But they are requiring much more from the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association. And for the record, GGFA does have insurance coverage of 1 Million.
Obviously, we are left frustrated and disappointed. Our world-renowned festival has helped showcase Gilroy and the South County for 42 years while raising many 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.”