What is the Gilroy Garlic Festival?
The Gilroy Garlic Festival is “Summer’s Ultimate Food Fair” — three full days of incredible food, beverages, arts & crafts, live entertainment, and cooking competitions. Founded in 1979, this event is hosted by thousands of community volunteers who have raised millions of dollars for local schools, charities, and non-profit organizations.
What are this year’s dates and event hours?
Friday, Saturday & Sunday
July 29, 30 & 31, 2016
10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
(Entrance gates close at 6 p.m.)
Where is the Festival held?
The Festival is held at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, about 30 miles south of San Jose off Highway 101. Just take 101 to Gilroy and then follow the directional signs.
How much are tickets?
Ticket prices include festival admission, shuttle transportation, three stages of musical entertainment, cooking demonstrations, and children’s area performances. Festival guests purchase food and beverages (including beer and wine) from a wide variety of vendors. Food prices range from $2 to $15 for full-size servings, depending on the item.
Tickets (single day admission only):
|Adult General Admission||$20|
|Children (ages 6-12)||$15|
|Under age 6||Free|
|Military Discount||Active members of the US Military receive a $5 discount off General Admission at the gate by presenting their valid US Military ID.|
Tickets may be purchased at the gate with cash or credit card (Visa, Master Card, American Express or Discover). ATMs are available at the gate.
Buy advance tickets online at tickets.gilroygarlicfestival.com or in person at any Raley’s, Bel Air, and Nob Hill Foods. All tickets are available for purchase beginning June 1 through noon on Sunday,
July 31, 2016.
Advance ticket prices are:
- $20 for adults
- $15 for children and seniors
Also available (online only) are $13 discount tickets for a Gourmet Alley Combo Plate (regular price is $15).
Locals’ Day – Friday July 29, 2016
Local residents can purchase up to two $15 General Admission tickets or $10 Child/Senior Admission tickets at the gate. That’s a $5 savings per ticket! You must present a valid photo ID with a local address in Gilroy, Morgan Hill, San Martin, Hollister, San Juan Bautista or Aromas. Maximum of two tickets per ID. Locals’ Ticket is valid on Friday only.
Residents can also purchase a 3-day Locals’ Pass at the gate for $30. The 3-day pass is available on Friday only and is non-transferable.
How many people work for the Garlic Festival?
The FOUR THOUSAND people you see around you are all volunteers, raising money for various charities, booster programs, and other non-profit organizations throughout the Gilroy area.
What should I wear? What should I bring?
The festival is held in a outdoor park that is mostly grass with some compact dirt and asphalt walkways. There are natural shade trees, and many shade tents with tables and benches.
Prepare for lots of eating, shopping, and walking! For your comfort, we highly recommend that you:
- Wear comfortable shoes. You will be walking on grass, dirt, and asphalt. There may be some uneven ground, particularly in the parking lots.
- Dress in layers. Mornings could be foggy; afternoons are usually sunny and warm.
- Bring sun protection. We have lots of garlic sunshine in Gilroy, so bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
Shirt and shoes are required at all times.
It is the Garlic Festival’s policy to provide a safe, family-friendly atmosphere for all Festival patrons and volunteers. Therefore, the Garlic Festival refuses entry or admission to anyone wearing clothing or paraphernalia indicating or signifying membership in a gang, including a motorcycle club. This policy is applied equally to all persons, regardless of their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability or medical condition.
Christmas Hill Park rules prohibit bringing the following items on Festival grounds:
- Alcohol of any kind
- Bottles, glass and cans
- Coolers – large or small
- Frisbees and water projecting devices
- Pocketknives and weapons of any kind.
*If you bring any of these items listed above, please leave them locked in your car.
How do I get to the Gilroy Garlic Festival?
To get to the Gilroy Garlic Festival, take Highway 101 to Gilroy, and then follow the signs posted on the highway for directions to available parking. Please note: parking lot locations and configurations have changed. Please follow the signs and directions from peace officers and volunteers closely.
Parking fee is $10 per vehicle per day, with regular shuttle buses running from the parking lot to festival grounds. The parking lots are graded agricultural fields. We recommend wearing closed-toed, comfortable walking shoes. You will likely encounter some dusty, uneven ground on your way to and from your vehicle.
The parking lots open at 9:00 am each morning.
Ride the Garlic Train to the Festival!
That’s right, this year you can ride Caltrain to the Garlic Festival on Saturday July 30th or Sunday July 31st. This is the easiest and most relaxing way to get to the Festival from the Peninsula. A chartered special event train will depart San Jose Diridon Station at 10:00AM, arriving non-stop in downtown Gilroy an hour later where a bus will shuttle you to the Festival. At 4:00PM you can board a bus to return from the Festival to the Gilroy Caltrain station where the train will depart at 5:00PM, returning you non-stop to the Diridon Station in San Jose one hour later. This special round-trip ticket is only available online in advance and includes Festival admission. This ticket is not available for purchase from Caltrain or at the train station. Click Here for tickets.
The Garlic Train is scheduled so that riders wishing to take normal weekend Caltrain service from as far north as San Francisco can connect with the Garlic Train in San Jose. Riders wishing to take advantage of that connecting service will need to purchase tickets directly from Caltrain for peninsula service, and switch trains at the Diridon Station in San Jose.
Public transportation routes and times are available at: www.vta.org
Attention Tour Bus Operators: Take San Martin Avenue Exit regardless of electronic sign board instructions. Head west on San Martin Avenue to Santa Teresa Boulevard and turn left. Proceed south for seven miles on Santa Teresa Boulevard to Club Drive. Turn left on Club Drive to the tour bus passenger loading/unloading area at Festival Gate 5. After unloading, tour bus parking/waiting will be available at Gavilan College, 5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard, 2.6 miles south of Miller Avenue.
Tour groups arriving via motorcoach are encouraged to schedule their visit prior to arrival in order to receive discount admission, bus driver and guide admission along with special drop off and pick up arrangements. Corporate groups of 30+ may also be eligible for discount admission. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
General Aviators – If flying in to the area: South County Airport, (E16) 13025 Murphy Ave., San Martin, CA 95046 (408) 683-4102 www.magnumaviation.com
Is there RV parking?
Sorry, no. Festival-adjacent overnight RV parking is no longer available due to impending residential development on the land we utilized for that purpose in the past. We recommend contacting Gilroy Gardens at (408) 840-7100 or Casa de Fruta at (408) 842-9316, or check the list of RV parks on the Gilroy Welcome Center website.
Is there bicycle parking?
Free, secure bicycle parking is available at Silva’s Crossing, near the intersection of Miller Avenue and Uvas Park Drive. Bring your own lock.
Can I bring my pet?
We’re sorry, but no pets are allowed in the festival, with the exception of service dogs. The City of Gilroy park rules prohibit dogs and other animals from being brought into the park (except service dogs), and California Law prohibits dogs and other animals from being left in vehicles. There are no kennel facilities available at the park.
Do you have handicapped or disabled access?
Yes, the Gilroy Garlic Festival does offer accommodations for disabled guests. However, there are some things to keep in mind.
There is a paved parking lot for attendees displaying a valid handicapped plate or placard. Follow the highway signs to handicapped parking. If you’ve missed the signs, ask a parking lot volunteer for directions to handicapped parking. Please have your placard displayed as soon as you exit the highway.
From the handicapped parking lot, guests will be shuttled to and from the gate in shuttles designed with wheelchair accessibility in mind. Please note that due to limited space on these shuttles, able-bodied persons may be asked to take a separate shuttle.
Please note that the Festival is held within a large city park. There is some uneven ground in the festival. The festival grounds are mostly lawn, compact dirt, and asphalt.
There are handicapped restroom facilities in the handicapped parking lot and at the many restroom areas throughout the park. There are many shade tents with tables and benches throughout the festival grounds.
Where should I stay when I’m in town?
For information about hotels, RV parks, and other local attractions, please go to www.visitgilroy.com or visit the Gilroy Welcome Center (located in Gilroy Premium Outlets near Forever 21).
How do I find more information?
For more information about the Gilroy Garlic Festival, please call (408) 842-1625.
Festival office hours: Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
(408) 852-3510 | firstname.lastname@example.org