Total distributions surpass $12 million in 41 years

Photo by Scott Jackson Photography
The “pyro chefs” in Gourmet Alley put on a spectacular flame-up show while preparing garlic-laced calamari in huge iron skillets.

By Staff Reports

The Gilroy Garlic Festival Association announced that 2019 attendance, gross income, and hourly payouts to volunteers were all higher than in 2018. The Association will pay $250,000 to 155 local charities and nonprofit organizations, which brings the Gilroy Garlic Festival’s 41-year total distributions to more than $12 million.

For many of these groups, the festival is the biggest — and sometimes the only — fundraiser of the year. In 2019  more than 4,000 volunteers logged 37,734 hours at the three-day event.

“This year more than ever we are grateful for the tireless dedication of our volunteers,” 2019 Gilroy Garlic Festival President Shawn Keck said.

Attendance for the 2019 Gilroy Garlic Festival was up more than five percent, at 84,830. Gross income for 2019 was projected to be about 13 percent higher, at $3.08 million. Expenses remained flat at $3.13 million. At the end of the fiscal year, organizers expect a net loss of about $100,000, which is am improvement from the $400,000 loss in 2018.

“Our leadership team is already working on next year’s budget and looking at more ways to enhance this event while supporting our many community partners who count on the Festival for vital funding,” said Incoming 2020 Gilroy Garlic Festival President Tom Cline. “This year was a very challenging one, but we are committed to continuing the progress we have made — and are looking forward to Garlic Festival 42.”

Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi is the editor of Morgan Hill Life newspaper. If you have a story idea or an Around Town column item you want to tell him about, you can reach him at (408) 427-5865 or at
Robert Airoldi