The book Gilroy Garlic Festival Playbook: For the Love of Garlic and Community has been in the works for years. It should be available for purchase in September 2022.
Larry and J Chris Mickartz have a long history with the Gilroy Garlic Festival. J Chris was on the original planning committee, and has worked or volunteered at every Festival. Larry attended the first Festival and began volunteering in 1981. He was a Committee Chair and Board Member, 1986-89 and has also worked or volunteered at almost every Festival since then.
The Gilroy Garlic Festival Playbook is a 248 page coffee table book. It contains information on each Festival from 1979 to 2019, Festival stories, and the related events in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
"The Festival story begins with Dr. Rudy Melone — In 1978. Rudy had been the President of Gavilan Community College for just a few short years. Once settled in at Gavilan, he felt that he needed to know more about Gilroy in general and its primary industry, farming, specically. One of the crops that caught his interest was garlic. He felt that one of Gilroy’s top products should be a source of pride; not one of embarrassment. "
"Security and traffic were Gregg Giusiana’s fields of expertise. But, in 1988, he stepped out of his police shoes and into the highly esteemed role of president during the Garlic Festival’s 10th anniversary year. “I remember the very first board meeting I attended. I was elected vice president and had no clue what I was getting into,” Giusiana said."
The Gilroy Garlic Festival Playbook contains over 2,000 photos, many of them from the Festival photo archives of over 150,000 photos. Some photos are from friends and many others were originally taken for gmhTODAY magazine. In preparing for the book the authors reviewed over 3,000 pages of material from the Garlic Festival Association, The Dispatch and other newspapers.
A portion of the sale of The Gilroy Garlic Festival Playbook published by IPC will be given to the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association (GGFA) for distribution to local non-profits.