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JULY 2022 RELEASE RESERVE YOUR COPY TODAY

The

GILROY GARLIC FESTIVAL PLAYBOOK :

The

GILROY GARLIC FESTIVAL PLAYBOOK :

For the Love of Garlic and Community

This publication is a tribute to the founders of the Festival , the community leaders that stepped up and served on its many committees , and those who served on the board of directors . It is an acknowledgment of all the hard work of over 4,000 volunteers each year and the true grit that the Festival afforded the community of Gilroy .
By Larry & J . Chris Mickartz

For the Love of Garlic and Community

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248 PAGE FULL COLOR 9 x 12 HARD COVER TABLE TOP BOOK
JULY 2022 RELEASE RESERVE YOUR COPY TODAY
Over 1,850 photos from the early days of planning in 1978 through 2021 with highlights of each year … guaranteed to bring back those treasured memories of one the most successful food festivals of our time .
Published by
A day in the life of the Garlic Festival ’ s president is never still . That ’ s one thing that Jennifer Speno , the event ’ s 2005 president , learned over the weekend as she circled the festival grounds , moving from chairperson to chairperson as she coordinated the festival ’ s 27 separate committees .
“ We ’ ve had problems , but they ’ re great problems to have ,” Speno said , referring to
AN AMAZING STORY of COMMUNITY , THAT STARTED IN THE SUMMER OF 1978 WITH A FEW VERY long lines and ticket shortages that occurred Saturday .
AMBITIOUS COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND A DREAM . AFTER OVER 40 YEARS OF SUCCESS , The petite mom of two and former Garlic Festival queen was an unstoppable blur ,
IT HAS GIVEN GILROY A LEGACY OF COMMUNITY PRIDE . darting to help with ticket recycling , free water stations , and other on-demand tasks during the busy weekend . Still , the actual stress for Speno began last year , she said , when she realized that the entire festival , run by John Zekanoski in 2004 , would soon
ISBN : 979-8-9861974-0-1 be her responsibility . The stress level hasn ’ t dropped , according to past president Jeff Martin .
INFOPOWER COMMUNICATIONS
7446 Rosanna Street , Gilroy • 408.848.6540 e jchris @ garlic . com • w ggfplaybook . com
The Board of Directors
By J . Chris Micki & Pirozzoli Larry Judy Mickartz
Lazarus
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Attendance 129,644
What Was New Demonstration Stage ( Sponsored by Calpalon ) Garlic Queen Becomes President ( First ) Second Combo Plate Added ( Gourmet Alley )
Volunteer of the Year — Mike Zukowski ( Parking )
Appreciation of Service Award — Majid Bahriny
Queen Aisha Zaza
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Vice-President Secretary
Steve Welch Treasurer
Jennifer Speno President
“ If I know Jennifer , the stress level went up then , and it won ’ t come down until this is all over ,” Martin said , sweeping his hand across the crowd .
The festival ’ s run had been positive Friday and Saturday , but Speno wouldn ’ t let herself get too excited on Sunday . She had a feeling something stressful — perhaps a repeat of Saturday ’ s rush — would happen .
At 2:30 pm , it did . Festival gate number one , situated in an area cut off from communications by dodgy radio and cell phone reception was running low on child / senior tickets . Speno , unable to reach anyone by radio , took off for the gate ’ s stand to assess the situation in person . Ducking onto back roads that skirted vending stations and dodging between refuse bins and volunteers as she sped across the length of the festival grounds , she reached the gate in time to begin recycling tickets , directing volunteers , and calling on help from festival
John Zekanoski Past President
Herbie enters the Cooking Conteston the Cook-Off Stage .
Order online at :
Year Twenty-Seven 2005
Hugh Davis Director
Kirsten Carr Director
The World-Famous Budweiser Clydesdales visit Garlic Festival
Giusiana said one of the highlights of his presidency was having the opportunity to welcome the one-millionth person into the Festival ’ s gates .
“ It was great ,” he said . “ We gave him and his mother a VIP tour of the festival , and it was even more special because it was the first time they had ever been .”
“ The festival ’ s formula is so good ; it will be successful for a long time ,” he said . “ One of the things that makes me sure of this is the workers ’ ‘ things can get done ’ attitude . Anytime an issue came up , there was always someone who said they could get it done .”
1988 THE GILROY GARLIC FESTIVAL PLAYBOOK
Dave Sebold Director
Jeff Martin Director
directors scattered throughout the park .
“ Once Friday comes , the festival takes on a life of its own ,” Speno said . “ Our job is to make sure committees work together , but our real work is the decisions and meetings through the year .”
One of Speno ’ s more challenging decisions centered on the festival ’ s transportation costs . In 2004 , the group spent more than $ 65,000 on transit , shuttling attendants to and from the grounds , and the board was looking for ways to cut costs in 2005 .
One way to save was to go without air conditioning on the busses , but we decided to spend a little more to keep people happy ,” Speno said . “ We wanted to keep costs down , but we also wanted to balance what was necessary and what was going to benefit our community .”
The same thought guided Speno and the rest of the committee when the Milk Advisory Board pulled funding for their “ Got Milk ?” concert stage just months before the event .
Instead of dipping into volunteer proceeds to pay performers , they made the stage into a karaoke stand and found a sleeper of a hit . The tent was packed with spectators before noon
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“ I think one of our biggest challenges will be after the festival ,” Speno said . “ We have the loss of ( longtime executive director ) Dick Nicholls this year , and we ’ re looking at getting a new executive director by January . That person will have to get acquainted with our seasoned staff and the community that drives this festival .”
2005 THE GILROY GARLIC FESTIVAL PLAYBOOK
Art Poster by Jennifer Lau , New York
THE GILROY GARLIC FESTIVAL PLAYBOOK 2005
An elite team of high-stepping Clydesdales kicked-off the Garlic Festival , leading a parade through town to Christmas Hill Park . The Clydesdales were brought in from Southern California by Bottomley Distributing of Milpitas , the appearance paid for by Anheuser Busch .
Rich Mackie worked with Bottomley for four years , trying to get authorization for the visit . He stated that “ management for the Clydesdales had strict rules regulating their performance — they ’ re very pampered and they don ’ t want them sitting out in the sun too long .”
Clydesdales must be three years old , six feet at the shoulder and weigh between 1,800 and 2,300 pounds to be on the Budweiser team .
A belt buckle vendor produced a limited edition buckle to celebrate the Festivals 10th Anniversary .
ES STI TIVAL PLAYBOOK
The work of a past president is never done , according to festival past president John Zekanoski , but work on the committee can wait long after the festival ’ s final cleanup is done Wednesday . Right now , Speno ’ s mind is on a long-overdue vacation .

“ Every year , a few of us from the festival go to Lake Shasta to go houseboating ,” Speno said . “ The biggest decision we make when we go is which drink to have next .” ggfplaybook . com

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“ Together , we basically get to build Disneyland in a week — then tear it down . It ’ s an amazing event to be part of . Everyone is working for the same reasons : to raise money for the community and throw a party for nearly 100,000 people .”
Shawn Keck President
The backbone of the Festival …
Our Volunteers !
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THE GILROY GARLIC FESTIVAL PLAYBOOK 2019
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