The Gilroy Garlic Festival is one of the largest food festivals in the United States, held annually in Gilroy, California on the last full weekend in July at Christmas Hill Park. The 40th Garlic Festival will be held on July 27-29, 2018.
Over 4,000 volunteers from more than 150 non-profit groups make the festival possible, and over three million people have reportedly come to the festival since it began.
The 31st festival ran from July 24 to July 26, 2009. 108,526 people attended, sampling such diverse creations as garlic flavored ice cream and garlic french fries. Attractions include three stages full of musical entertainment, a garlic cook-off, celebrity cooking demonstrations, a garlic braiding workshop, a children's area, arts and crafts, and many interactive displays.
The festival was founded in 1979 by Dr. Rudy Melone, Don Christopher, and Val Filice. The festival is a major fundraiser for local charities, who receive money based on voluteers who work during the festival. Since the festival began, it has raised more than eleven million dollars for these charities. The Gilroy Garlic Festival Association is a non-profit organization that is intended to support non-profit groups and projects in Gilroy.