Gilroy Garlic Festival

After 15 years of living here, Charles and I finally attended the world famous Gilroy Garlic Festival. Gilroy is an easy jump on the highway from here and only about an hour south; we had a little spare cash; and the local bellydance troupes Desert Dream with Janelle Rodriguez, and Raks Arabi with Crystal Silmi were performing early in the day. Even the weather cooperated: hot but not stinking hot. We left early and arrived by their opening at 10:00 am. After being directed all around Robin Hood’s barn, we were parked and on the shuttle bus to the festival lickety split. This is a very well organized festival and, at least first thing on Saturday morning, everyone was polite and friendly.

We made a bee-line to the Gazebo stage and boldly found seating right up front in the shade and on cool grass. There were several dance groups performing in bellydance and bollywood styles but Raks Arabi blew me away…again.

Raks Arabi


This really was one of their finest performances and the crowd shouted its appreciation. A young woman nearby asked if I knew who they were and what they were doing up there. She was enthralled by the performance but couldn’t identify the style. So I fell into teacher mode and explained that Crystal’s unique style is founded in bellydancing but enriched with moves from street dance like hip hop. Oh, yes, she said, I thot I saw hip hop. I love teaching.

After Desert Dream did their too short set, we popped off to eat garlic. Naturally we had the requisite garlic ice cream (it’s sweet like vanilla ice cream but with a garlic after taste. I liked it.) and the garlic fries. Here’s a picture of those—

Garlic flavored with fries

I could take all the garlic but not the salt. We still

managed to eat it all (after swallowing down a couple  Pepcid—we’re no fools).

Charles swallowing an antacid

After sampling the New Orleans jambalaya and fried catfish (yummy), and grazing through the crafts areas, we called it a day. We were home and crashed out on the couch by 3:00. Not a bad day.

PS: the charming garlic “Woodkins” in the header are made by Linda Lebedowicz.

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