Garlic festival heading to Stockton, organizer vows

The official organizers of the Gilroy Garlic Festival reaffirmed that their popular event is canceled, but a promoter is adamant about bringing a similar festival to Stockton.

Tony Noceti is the man behind the Asparagus Festival in Stockton and has been lobbying to host the garlic festival in the Delta, but to no avail.

The Gilroy association, which has run the 42-year-old tradition, said it has no plans to revive the festival.

Since Noceti didn't get the green light to move the Gilroy Garlic Festival, he said he plans to host his own garlic festival on Aug. 13 and 14 at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds.

Noceti doesn't have rights to the Gilroy Garlic Festival branding, but he is inviting vendors from that event to participate in his.

KTVU reached out to the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds to confirm whether the event was a go and has not yet heard back.

The Gilroy association said the pandemic and the skyrocketing insurance premiums were the driving reasons to cancel its event. They said the city was requiring that the festival have more insurance than the minimum general liability coverage of $1 million. Gilroy Garlic Festival said a dispute concerning greatly increased insurance premiums after 2019’s deadly mass shooting were factors.