I have performed at the Gilroy California Garlic Festival for many years and as recently as this last Saturday, July 27. I have watched as the visitors to this family oriented/food and music festival smiled with joy at all the wonderful delights that everyone loves from delicious food, great music performances and sharing a fun time together as a family.
The news that two children and one young adult lost their lives and others were wounded Sunday afternoon from an attack by a gunman with an assault rifle was heartbreaking, close to home and incredibly sad for me.
I had been with the staff and stage personnel just 24 hours before. The show was one of the best, filled with sing-a-longs and pure fun with the audience, an audience filled with families and children.
The Gilroy Garlic Festival is presented by over four thousand volunteers and contributes money made to charities and schools in the Gilroy area. It has been reported that these volunteers remained calm, organized and helped guide over thirty thousand festival-goers to safety at the exits.
This is a time in Central California of grief for the people who lost their loved ones, a truly sad and unexplainable attack on innocents. The Gilroy Garlic Festival has always and will continue be a gathering of wonderful people enjoying the best of a summer weekend.
On July 28 the courage and resiliency of the volunteers and security staff was excellent as they did what was necessary to protect their festival-patrons. I love this festival and in honor of those innocent young people who were killed last Sunday, look forward to attending next year's festival as no one should be able to take away the joy of a summer weekend in Central California and the lovely Garlic Festival.