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Top 10 things to do at the Gilroy Garlic Festival

RecipesCookingLos Angeles Times

Travel Editor Catharine Hamm talks about the 30th anniversary of the Gilroy Garlic Festival on “Good Food” on KCRW from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, July 19.

The Gilroy Garlic Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary this year from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 25 to 27.

Besides warding off vampires, here are some of the top things to do at the festival, which has, to date, drawn about 3.4 million visitors and returned $8 million to local charities.

Top things to do at the Gilroy Garlic Festival:

1. As you're driving into town, leave the car windows down and note on the map exactly where you begin to smell the "stinking rose." Garlic represents about $1 million in agricultural receipts a year to Santa Clara County, which produces about $255 million in crops.

2. Have a taste of garlic ice cream. See if you think it's gross or if it's God's gift to garlic lovers.

3. Visit the Pyro Chefs and watch as the flames shoot up from their hot, hot, hot dishes. Remember, if you can't stand the heat, get out of Pyro Alley.

4. Sample some scampi or calamari or some of the other delicacies in Gourmet Alley. If you're with a group, have everyone buy one item and swap samples. Select a winner.

5. Attend a cooking demonstration at the Demonstration Stage. Vow to eat in instead of out at least one more night a week using your newfound info.

6. Pick up a copy of "Any Bozzo Can Cook," the 102-recipe collection by Gene Sakahara and Sam Bozzo. Dog-ear the recipes you'll want to try.

7. Attend the Great Garlic Cook-Off from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 26. Eight finalists are competing for top honors; their work will be reviewed by five celebrity judges.

8. On Sunday, July 27, four Bay Area chefs face off in the Garlic Showdown. The prize is $5,000 and half a ton of garlic. Try to guess the winner and imagine how long 1,000 pounds of garlic will last.

9. Sway with your sweetie to '50s and '60s tunes sung by Sha-Boom. The oldies group will perform all three days of the festival.

10. If you are done with garlic, head for Gilroy Premium Outlets for some shopping. Make sure you take some breath mints with you.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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