The Gilroy Garlic Festival, one of NorCal’s most celebrated festivals since 1979, has announced that it will not host the event this year or for the “foreseeable future.” Festival organizers broke the news last week.
“Due to lingering uncertainties from the pandemic, along with prohibitive insurance requirements by the City of Gilroy, the Gilroy Garlic Festival Board has decided not to move ahead with a festival for 2022 — and the foreseeable future,” festival organizers said in a statement as reported by SFGATE.
The festival still plans to host smaller individual events throughout the year, including a golf tournament in June, a country music concert in July, and a farm-to-table dinner in September. Tickets for these events go on sale May 13.
Not only is the event a popular spot for foodies, but it also serves as a massive fundraiser for the city of Gilroy. It’s known to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for local nonprofits, but sky-high insurance premiums combined with fewer profits in recent years have led to its cancelation. The festival association is also working through several lawsuits from the tragic 2019 shooting in which 3 people died and 17 were injured.
This famous celebration hasn’t happened in its true largescale form since 2019, having been canceled in 2020 and adapted into drive thru form in 2021.
“The festival is part of our heritage,” reads the festival statement, according to the Gilroy Dispatch. “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.”
Learn more about the Gilroy Garlic Festival’s alternative events for 2022 at their website.
Featured image: Sheila Fitzgerald via Shutterstock