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• Crab Fries for the Crowds: See food. Italian sausage and potato recipe Beer-battered garlic fries come topped with crab aioli and a mess of snow crab perched on top. Italian sausage pasta recipes for dinner One festival attendee remarked that she always heads here first after entering the festival to procure her two favorite foods: crab fries and key lime fried calamari.

• Stay active: This family-friendly festival appeals to kids and adults alike.

Italian pasta sausage recipe Its robust children’s section offers activities like bungee jumping, zip-lining, an electric bull and two climbing walls.

• Get Ready for Garlic-Infused Foods: Vendor Garlicdude sells garlic-flavored foods to take home. Italian sausage soup recipe They sample unusual items like garlic chocolate and garlic blue cheese butter.

• Fun for the Whole Family: Arts and crafts activities make for easy entertaining in the kids’ section. Italian sausage and peppers pasta recipe A little girl leaps out of her makeup chair with newly inked face paint of a wave and dolphin. Recipe for italian sausage and pasta At another booth, a tow-headed toddler squirts a spinning Frisbee with paint.

• Takko, Japan comes to Gilroy, California: Nagisa Okubo, Takko Garlic Lady for 2016 visits the Gilroy Garlic Festival, flew in all the way from Takko-Machi, the garlic capital of Japan and sister city to Gilroy.

• Home of Gilroy Garlic Fries : Gilroy garlic fries are legendary and well-known beyond the town border. Italian sausage and kale soup recipe Typically, garlic fries consist of French fries tossed with minced fresh garlic and parsley. Spaghetti recipe with italian sausage Two women traveled all the way from New Mexico for the Gilroy Garlic Festival and tried their first garlic fries greedily. Homemade italian sausage recipes from italy The festival also offers a variation battered in beer.

• Ga-ga for Garlic: Garlic paraphernalia is profound at the festival as garlic gets sold in braids, hats shaped as garlic bulbs and even tie dye t-shirts and banners with a smiling garlic bulb proudly featured.

• Great or Gross? Try Garlic Ice Cream: Love it or hate it, garlic ice cream stands out as the must-try food of the festival. Mild italian sausage slow cooker recipes Over the course of the weekend, they will have sampled upwards of 10,000 mini cones to revelers waiting in a line that snakes across the meadow near the cook-off stage for creamy soft serve with a bit of bite.

• Overwhelmed by Options, Go Bite-Sized: It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the edible options available at the festival. Pasta italian sausage recipe You can find garlic sautéed mussels, Italian sausage sandwiches and even garlic watermelon. Italian sausage pasta recipe jamie oliver Simple stuffed mushrooms make garlicky bite-sized snacks.

• Putting the Fun in Fundraising: Several food tents manned by students sell items like freshly picked corn-on-the-cob or flavored iced tea with sales benefitting local schools.

• May the Stink Be with You: Love for garlic runs deep in Gilroy. Recipe italian sausage pasta Ninety percent of all commercially-sold garlic in the United States comes from California with local Gilroy grower, Christopher Ranch, which just celebrated its 60th anniversary, cultivating 4,000 acres of row crops that include garlic.

• Asi Ajo! Mexican Chef Demos How to Cook with Garlic: Executive chef of Morgan Hill eatery, La Nina Perdida Miriam Vega conducts a cooking demo on the cook-off stage. Italian sausage pasta bake recipe Showing viewers how to make her restaurant’s camarones al tequila (shrimp in tequila), she also talks through how to make garlic confit.

• Meet Mr. Homemade italian chicken sausage recipe Garlic: For 25 years, volunteer Gerry Foisy, also known as Mr. Italian turkey sausage recipes Garlic has dressed up in a garlic bulb costume with a wide-brimmed hat decked out in garlic bulbs and flowers. Italian sausage and potato soup recipe This ambassador of the garlic festival meets and takes photos with festival attendees.

• We Are the Champions: Every July 4th, Nathan’s Hot Dogs hosts a hot dog eating contest and the champion’s belt is on display at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Recipe mild italian sausage Local San Jose, CA resident and competitive eater Joey DzJawsdz Chestnut beat out the competition, clinching the 2016 title by eating 70 hot dogs in 12 minutes.

• Pasta con Pesto: Pasta con Pesto is a Gilroy Garlic Festival favorite. Mild italian sausage recipes for dinner To make it, they cook 20 pounds of pasta at a time and it takes two people to lift the pasta pot. Italian sausage recipe fennel Throughout the weekend, typically 500 pounds of pasta is prepared and 300 pounds of pesto.

• Sky-high Flames with Pyro Chefs: One of the hottest draws to the Gilroy Garlic Festival is the pyro chefs area where flames fly high from pans cooking up calamari and shrimp scampi. Italian sausage recipe pasta On a typical weekend these six stoves manned by pyro chefs generate $250,000. Italian sausage bowtie pasta recipe Pyro Chef Rich Janisch heats things up.

• Saka-Bozzo’s Last Stand: For 25 years, Gene Sakahara and Sam Bozzo have combined cooking and comedy, coming to an end in 2016. Traditional italian sausage recipe These two former Gilroy Garlic Festival presidents received awards this year for their many years of service.

• Beat the Heat: Clocking in at 88 degrees mid-day on day 1, festival attendees find ways to stay cool such as seeking out temporary refuge in the rain room tents where mist sprinkles down on attendees. Italian sausage recipe oven Others opt to satiate the sun by eating shaved ice (yes, with garlic as a flavor option), and, two beer gardens offer crisp, cold brews.

You know you’ve arrived in Gilroy, California when the unmistakably pungent aroma of garlic invades your car even with the windows closed. Best homemade italian sausage recipe During the last weekend of July, this self-proclaimed “garlic capital of the world” comes together to put on what they call “the world’s greatest summer food festival.” Every year, approximately 100,000 people come by plane, train (Caltrain “Garlic Express” runs to the festival on Saturday and Sunday), and automobile for this unforgettable foodie-friendly festival. Recipe italian sausage soup Since 1979, the festival has reached 4,216,918 people and has raised $10,931,725 to pass onto community non-profits.

The star of the event, the lure that draws people in is “the stinking rose.” Every year, festival attendees consume upwards of 2 tons of fresh garlic and the options seem pretty endless in the dizzying spread of food trucks and tents located in the heart of the festival known as gourmet alley. Mild italian sausage pasta recipe There, garlic gets slathered on bread, speckles fries, gets grilled into sauce-sopped hunks of barbecued meat. Spicy italian sausage soup recipe Along with garlic-laden food, attendees can anticipate three days of entertainment as musicians croon on one of three stages, with a full line-up that includes tribute bands like Donald Elvis and the Hound Dogs. Italian sausage with pasta recipe For the first time, in 2016, local EMTs, police officers and firemen competed to raise money for their favorite charity in the Champions for Charity cook-off. Pork italian sausage recipe This is the first year also for “Garli-que” BBQ Challenges (one for professional cooks, the other for home cooks) that bring garlicky goodness by barbecue at this Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned event.

Whatever whets your whistle you’re bound to find a fun time at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Italian sausage penne pasta recipe If you’ve visited the festival, what is your favorite food?

Annelies Zijderveld’s first cookbook, Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea, is available now. Italian sausage pasta recipes with alfredo sauce She has been published in Curator magazine, Arthouse America, and Sated Magazine. Recipe for making italian sausage Follow her teatime antics and cooking with tea journey on Instagram.