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POLL: Should Locals Receive Discounted Garlic Festival Tickets?

Do you think the noise, increased traffic and 'rude tourists' the festival attracts justify discounted tickets?

The 34th Annual Gilroy Garlic Festival is right around the corner, meaning the thousands of people who visit the nationally-recognized festival, their cars and subsequent noise, aren't far away either.  

Which brings up the question: Should locals get a discount on admission to the garlic festival?

Residents of Gilroy, Morgan Hill and neighboring cities get which is scheduled for the festival's opening day on July 27. Despite the gesture, some feel a one-day discount isn't enough. 

One Gilroy Patch Facebook commenter states, "You know, locals, we should be discounted every day. We have to tolerate the traffic, tolerate the rude [out-of-towners] and tourists. This is our garlic fest."

Garlic Festival Executive Director Brian Bowe said although traffic is always a problem during the festival, most Gilroyans understand it's a necessary evil. 

"People realize it's a small inconvenience to pay for the millions [of dollars] we are able to give back to the community," he said.

As for the ensuing noise caused by the festival, Bowe said the noise is over before the evening hits.

“Most entertainment ends by 6 p.m. and the festival is over by 7:30 p.m., so we are over before it even gets dark," he said.

With tickets selling for $17 each, a day at the Garlic festival can add up for a family. In a city like Gilroy, which has one of the highest poverty rates in Santa Clara County, the price of tickets can be especially hard on local families. 

"There will be a lot of locals that will not attend our garlic fest simply because the price of admission,” another Facebook commenter states. “Its a shame. Those who can't afford that are locals [who] can not take their family because of the high cost."

Bowe said the price for admission is fair, and notes that individuals can attend the festival for free by volunteering. , he added. 

“For as little as a four-hour volunteer shift, locals can get into the festival for free, get a plate of food and a few beverages," he said. "Frankly, I think that's the greatest ticket for any local."

What do you think? Is $17 for a regular admission ticket to the Garlic Festival too high? Should Gilroy residents receive discounted admission for all three days of the festival?

emma santiago July 25, 2012 at 07:42 PM
My family come from mexico, and they are five adults and two señiors,I would like bring them to garlic festival, but I think is to expensive pay by all.

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