gmhTODAY 09 gmhToday July Aug 2016 - Page 106

Gearing Up for the 2016 Gilroy Garlic Festival Fire in the Hole! F or the last 11+ months, dozens of volunteer committees have been planning and preparing to host the 38th annual Gilroy Garlic Festival on July 29, 30 and 31. Up to 100,000 visitors are expected for the event, which has gained notoriety around the world as summer’s ultimate food festival. As usual, Festival highlights will include great garlicky food from Gourmet Alley, live entertainment on three stages, cooking contests and demonstrations, the Rotary Club Wine Pavilion, family fun in the Children’s Area, and 100 Arts and Crafts booths. And you can bet visitors will still be queuing up for the free garlic ice cream! Although you will still be able to find all of your Festival favorites, there are also some exciting new things happening for 2016. And continuing the tradition of introducing some of country music’s hottest new acts at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, 95.3 Hot Country KRTY has an amazing lineup planned for Saturday, July 30 on the Amphitheater Stage. Performers will include Brooke Eden (“Daddy’s Money”), Drew Baldridge (“Dance With Ya”), and The Lost Bandoleros (“Where Do You Go?”). WANNA PLAY WITH FIRE? This year, the Festival is hosting a Flame-Up Contest that you can enter from the Garlic Festival Facebook page. If you’re selected as the winner, you’ll get to work with the Pyro Chefs on Gourmet Alley and do your own flame-up on Friday morning! Contestants must be at least 18 years of age. Winner also receives four admission tickets, combo plate coupons, and a VIP shuttle to and from the Festival. Visit the Festival Facebook page to enter: WHAT’S APP AT THE 2016 FESTIVAL? Before you head out to Christmas Hill Park, be sure to download the FREE Gilroy Garlic Festival App from the Apple Store or Google Play. This snazzy redesigned app provides a complete guide to the Festival, including event schedules, ticket info, and an interactive map. Champions for Charity is a brand-new event scheduled for Friday on the Cook-Off Stage. Teams of local first responder heroes (firefighters, police officers, and EMTs) will compete in a three-round cooking challenge to win $3,000 for the charity of their choice. Come out and cheer for our hometown heroes! This exciting competition will take place on Friday, July 29 on the Great Garlic Cook-Off Stage. Also new for 2016, the Gilroy Garli-Que Challenge is really two BBQ contests rolled into one great weekend. On Saturday, July 30, seasoned professional competitors will face off in the Gilroy Garli-Que BBQ Challenge, officially sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS). Guests will be able to purchase “tasting plates” to sample some of the best BBQ ribs, chicken, pork, and more. Sunday, July 31 will be the Gilroy Garli-Que Backyard BBQ Rib Challenge, open to amateur grillers and local residents who want to show off their very best garlicky rib recipes. 106 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN GARLIC GOODBYES In 2016, we’ll also be honoring some long-time Festival stal- warts who will be scaling back their duties after this year. Gene Sakahara and Sam Bozzo, who have delighted Festival audiences for 25 years with their unique blend of cooking and comedy (all accented with plenty of garlic, of course!), will be making their final appearance together as “SakaBozzo” on the Cook-Off Stage on Friday morning, July 29. And Gerry Foisy, who has been the face of the Festival as “Mr. Garlic” for 29 years, will be hanging up his signature bulb costume and cowboy hat after this year. SPECIAL SAVINGS FOR LOCAL RESIDENTS On Friday, July 29, local residents can purchase up to two $15 General Admission tickets or $10 Child/Senior Admission tickets at the gate. That’s a $5 savings per ticket! You must present a valid photo ID with a local address in Gilroy, Morgan Hill, San Martin, Hollister, San Juan Bautista or Aromas. Maximum of two tickets per ID. Locals’ ticket is valid on Friday only. Residents can also purchase a 3-day non-transferable Locals’ Pass at the gate on Friday for $30. For more details or to purchase advance tickets online, go to Hope to see you there! JULY / AUGUST 2016