Last week we attended a vampire's worst nightmare, the Gilroy Garlic Festival! Seeing as we literally just celebrated our 1st year anniversary of being Californians, it was our first time attending, but the festival marked its 38th year of pure garlic mayhem. Being first timers, we had no idea what to expect, but our first impressions initially were skeptical at the very least. We had to park in a huge lot and then be taken by bus to the actual festival, then for the two of us (and parking) it came to $50 admittance. Then, we started walking, and at first, we looked at each other and thought, this definitely was not worth the money! However, first appearances were extremely deceiving.
As we kept walking (and walking, and walking), we realized how ginormous this festival actually was. Every direction you went there were more and more different things going on. From booth after booth of food, featuring...duh...garlic; to different vendors and shows, the possibilities for all ages were really endless. Our day started off with a blended mimosa. Now don't let the 'blended' part throw you for a loop (I sure did), it was just crushed ice. However, apparently the earlier in the day you get one, the better the pour (wink, wink). Now we were off to conquer this garlic world!
Now, anyone that knows my hubby, knows that he just can't lay off the sauce.........the dipping kind that is. We always end up with the most random assortment of sauces in our house that he picks up from different places. So when we passed the Torchbearer Sauces booth, I knew we were going to have to stop. Good thing I still had that delicious mimosa! Kevin tried sauce after sauce and loved them all! We actually made a HUGE mistake and didn't purchase any right then and there. Not wanting to carry stuff around all day, we said we would come back on our way out and completely forgot (the crowds were getting massive at that point). Luckily, not only can you of course purchase online, but you can also look where they are sold close to you! Kevin's favorites were Oh My Garlic and Chipotle Wing Sauce but like I said he liked most of them.
Next up was some actual grub. First we headed to Gourmet Alley (not without a few smooches first so we wouldn't subject the other to our heavy garlic breath) pick up some shrimp scampi with a piece of............garlic bread. I told you, vampire's worst nightmare here. I don't really know how it could be anything less, but it was pretty scrumptious. Now before you start criticizing, this isn't the only thing we ate, though it is the only picture.....for now. The rest of our eating adventures took us to a whole other area (this place really did go on and on) where there were some of the best BBQ places competing against each other for the people's choice Garli-Que challenge. Our favorite competition team, The Bad Boyz of BBQ, were there so we of course had to sample theirs, but felt they deserved their own post instead of a little snippet here (start salivating now, but maybe stop because that's just weird if you keep salivating until I get it posted).
Needless to say, the whole festival was fire (get it, picture below, lol). There were things to do for everyone, no matter your age. A whole kiddie land with rides and face painting, live cooking demos and cook-offs, multiple areas with every type of vendor you could think of, plus all the food and wine/beer. It really was worth it, just get there early if you want to avoid the massive crowds (plus things can sell out). See you next July Gilroy Garlic Festival!