GILROY (CBS SF) — The Gilroy Garlic Festival Association announced Wednesday that it is hosting a series of events to replace its massive 42-year-old festival, which went on hiatus last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The association announced that while the full festival won’t return in 2021, it’s promoting three events that meet social distancing guidelines that are still in effect in California. While vaccination numbers continue to go up and COVID cases keep dropping in the state, many festivals are still on hiatus or not returning until the fall.READ MORE: Marin County Declares Drought Emergency; 'Worst We Have Seen In Over 140 Years'
“We have all been confronted with so many changes due to COVID-19. There is a great community desire to see the Festival come back. Together, we can work to reimagine a Gilroy Garlic Festival that will promote and honor everything that makes Gilroy truly the Garlic Capital of the World,” said Tom Cline, the association’s president.
Instead of one big festival, organizers are hosting three different events in July and August. The first is a drive-thru version of Gourmet Alley, the food-tasting area of the festival. Organizers are waiting on a permit from the Santa Clara County Health Department, which put a temporary hold on issuing event permits, according to the association. Once approved, the Drive-thru Gourmet Alley will be held on July 23-25, and July 30 – Aug. 1, at the Gilroy Presbyterian Church.READ MORE: UPDATE: Birthday Party Bus Riddled With Bullets On I-580 in Oakland; 2 Dead, Several Wounded
The association will also be hosting a farm-to-table dinner at Fortino’s Winery on July 24 and a golf tournament on July 30 at the Gilroy Golf Course.
The association organized the first Gilroy Garlic Festival to celebrate “the famous bulb” in 1979. The annual event went on to raise $12 million for its non-profit, which supports the Gilroy community.MORE NEWS: COVID Reopening: Santa Clara County Latest To Enter Least-Restrictive Yellow Tier
This year’s events will also commemorate the second anniversary of mass shooting that resulted in four dead and 17 wounded.