Letter: The Failed Pointing Finger – Gilroy Dispatch
Unfortunately, for the third time in as many years, the Garlic Festival, due to many circumstances, will not take place. The largest “family reunion” in the community, to everyone’s disappointment, is on hold.
What is more disappointing is the storm of name-calling, finger-pointing (especially at the city) and the intentional effort to cause dissension and disunity among Gilroy residents, businesses and organizations involved in the Garlic Festival.
The Garlic Festival has always had a way of bringing the community together. The incident at the closing of the 2019 Garlic Festival brought the community together like never before. It is understandable that so many people are disappointed that there will be no Garlic Festival this year. However, the only event that united this community in the past now seems to be the event that divided it.
Many factors come into play when planning an event of this magnitude, especially after what happened in 2019. It’s easy to point fingers and blame someone else like some have chosen to do so. The problem is that finger pointing doesn’t solve the problem, it just makes it worse.
We need to come together and ask some serious questions about the future of the Garlic Festival with Gilroy’s moniker as the Garlic Capital of the World. We need to answer questions such as:
1. What can we do to overcome the obstacles?
2. What are the non-negotiables and what are the alternatives?
3. What does a reinvented festival look like?
4. What possibilities exist for a new location?
5. How can we come together to find solutions?
Not only are we better together, but we’re better than what I’ve seen played out on social media in the past few days. This community, along with business and non-profit leaders, have never failed to seize the opportunity to overcome problems, challenges and difficulties. For all parties involved, collaboration is key. Now is not the time to point fingers but to look for solutions and a way to bring back pride and joy to our community.
President and CEO, Gilroy Chamber of Commerce