Car Commotion

Garlic City Car Show pays tribute to founder

CAR SHOW & CONCERT Several days of automotive festivities warm up the streets for the 16th annual Garlic City Car Show on Saturday, August 19. Photo: Lora Schraft

Downtown Gilroy will be revved up with three days of entertainment for the whole family this coming week when more than 200 modified and classic vehicles descend upon the streets of Gilroy. Organized by the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, this year marks the 16th annual Garlic City Car Show.

With multiple events planned, Eric Howard, business relationship manager with the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, says the excitement kicks off on Wednesday evening, where car lovers of all ages can get a sneak peek of the custom rides to be showcased throughout the week.

The Show & Shine will be held from 5-7:30pm on Wednesday, August 16 on Automall Parkway.

There will also be a live performance by Donald “Elvis” Prieto and refreshments provided by several Gilroy auto row carmakers.

Car enthusiasts will have another opportunity to appreciate the gleaming chrome accented by a rumbling tone from the exhaust before the big event as these beautiful machines roll downtown cruising in the Parade of Cars, Friday, August 18 from 5:30-6:30pm.

Howard says they have planned a full schedule of events for this year including several live bands and a kid zone during the main attraction on Saturday starting at 10am.

With cars galore, three stages to delight the music lover and a Kid Fun Zone featuring bounce houses and slides, petting zoo, and even pony rides for the youngsters, there will be plenty to keep the family entertained.

Local business and vendor booths and displays will be on hand as well as Calstar Helicopter Air Ambulance and Bracco’s Towing.

Mike Brownfield, chair of the Garlic City Car show, says participants have several opportunities to earn the spotlight with a variety of award categories including merchants’ awards, chamber’s pick award, mayor’s pick, distance award for the longest distance traveled to the event, and best of show.

As a tribute to the show’s founder, “This year’s event honors Trevis Berry,” says Howard with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the South County Tailwaggers.

The three day auto affair, culminates with a special VIP event on Saturday evening with a concert at the District Theater. Sweet Daddy and the Bad Cats open the show at 7pm followed by headliner, The American Classic Hit Makers featuring Dave Jenkins of Pablo Cruise, Jaime Kyle, Walter Egan and Jeff Strametz. Tickets are available online at or through the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce for $25, meet and greet for $40, or VIP dinner, photo opportunity and reserved seating for $100.

Visitors can see everything from Model T’s and muscle cars to race cars and restorations, in-progress projects and patinaed survivors, vintage tractors and a world record speedboat.

“We want to bring people to Gilroy and let them see what our town has to offer,” says Howard.


The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce presents its 16th annual Garlic City Car Show on Saturday August 19 from 10am-6pm on Monterey Road between Third and Seventh streets. Awards will be presented at 4:30pm with a special VIP concert at the District at 7pm. For more information, visit

Gary Stockdale
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About Gary Stockdale
Gary Stockdale is a freelance writer for South Valley magazine and has 20 years of experience in the automotive industry.