FRESNO, Calif.  (KSEE/KGPE) – The ribbon was cut and the garlic was peeled for the first day of the National Garlic Festival in Fresno Friday morning.

The National Garlic Festival at The Fresno Fairgrounds opened its gates for the inaugural festival, which runs from May 13 through the 15.

The event organizer says nearly 80% of the garlic grown in the nation comes from Fresno County, and in 2020, Fresno County farmers harvested 178,000 tons of garlic from over 24,000 acres of land.

Event organizer Peter DeYoung says this will be hailed as the first-ever National Garlic Festival and is hopeful it will be an annual event that will attract people to Fresno to celebrate its position as the “garlic capital of the country.”

According to the event’s website, celebrity chefs such as Mario Lopez, Martin Yan, and Rocco DiSpirito will be at the festival.