Food

Is the Gilroy Garlic Festival back? Depends on who you ask.

Less than a week after organizers of Gilroy’s famous Garlic Festival announced they were not hosting a 2022 event or any in the foreseeable future, reports surfaced Sunday that a new organizer could be taking up the mantle.

But are they?

The news that the storied northern California food festival was calling it quits was more than welcome news for the burgeoning, Fresno-based National Garlic Festival. The event, organized by Fresnans Peter and Nico DeYoung, is set to take place between May 13 and 15 at Fresno’s Big Fresno Fairgrounds.

Sunday, reports emerged that the organizers of Stockton’s San Joaquin Asparagus Festival would be taking the mantle to organize a garlic festival in Gilroy.

“We heard the extremely sad news that the Gilroy Garlic Festival will not be holding their annual big garlic festival. We just couldn’t let that happen!” the Tony Noceti Group Inc. said on social media, later reported by KCRA.

That announcement, it appears, was news to the board of directors for the long-standing Gilroy event.

Per the San Francisco Chronicle:

“The Gilroy Garlic Festival Association and its Board have not been contacted about this,” the Gilroy Garlic Festival said in a statement shared on Facebook. “… The board is happy to see the enthusiasm the Noceti Group has for Garlic but asks that they communicate directly with the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association with those ideas.”

Whatever the case, the Gilroy Garlic Festival organizers said that any forthcoming garlic event by the Noceti Group wouldn’t be “a sanctioned Gilroy Garlic Festival Association event.” Before ending their statement, the official organizers of the Gilroy Garlic Festival added that the city of Stockton was not a successor to their event as Gilroy continues to carry the title of “the Garlic Capital of the World.”  

Les Hubbard is a contributing reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun.