Citing financial challenges, the Gilroy Garlic Festival has been canceled.
The festival has been running for more than 40 years and organizers say they took a big hit during the pandemic. Future plans include adopting a smaller model with a possible golf tournament, concerts series, and farm-to-table event. According to former president and current board member Tom Cline, the festival was losing money. “Clearly it was over the 10 years of just losing money was the main culprit and the main cause of what was going on with the festival and being able to be sustainable and that was the real cause that was the root cause of it,” Cline said.
Organizers say they are actively re-imagining the annual festival, and are looking to bring back a much smaller version, possibly a 2,500 to 5,000 person a day event. The key will be finding a venue. “We're not going away," Cline said. "We're trying to work through it and figure it out and it is a process and it's hard to put a timetable on it and I know people want that and understand that we just got to find it."
Garlic festival organizers say they plan to hold smaller events this summer to keep the name alive and raise money for local nonprofits. Those events include a golf tournament, a concert and a dinner in September.