The Gilroy Calif. Garlic Festival logo. (Photo courtesy Gilroy Garlic Festival)

The Gilroy Garlic Festival is back, but just like most things impacted by COVID-19, it will look a bit different.

Visitors driving to the annual event can stay in their cars this year to eat their favorite festival foods as Gourmet Alley will reopen as a pre-order drive-thru.

But festival fans can still get their best-loved bites like the pepper steak sandwich, shrimp scampi and of course the famous garlic bread.

And instead of the annual festival spanning over one weekend, this year it will be open for two weekends starting this Friday at 4 p.m. through Sunday and reopening again the weekend of July 30 to Aug. 1.

The drive-thru will be open 4-7 p.m. on Fridays and from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays at the Gilroy Presbyterian Church on Miller Avenue.

The four-decade-long festival will also bring back the golf tournament and the Farm-to-Table dinner at Fortino Winery — with outdoor seating of course.

What is still on pause, however, is live music at the festival.

But festival organizers are happy to have it back, especially after two difficult years marked by a mass shooting in 2019 and COVID closures in 2020.

“We have all been confronted with so many changes due to COVID-19,” said Tom Cline, current president of the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association. “There is a great community desire to see some reminders of Festival past that highlight our community, our commitment to our non-profit partners, and, of course, our love of Garlic.”

Tickets and more information about the Gilroy Garlic Festival can be found at