GILROY (CBS13) — As the town of Gilroy continues to process their grief, the site of the festival remains locked down by investigators, leaving some vendors and volunteers unable to tear down their booths.
An eerie silence hangs over Christmas Hill Park as empty cars wait for drivers who not been able to return. The park, which hosted 100,000 visitors daily during the three-day garlic festival, is roped off with crime scene tape.
These vendors, who are hoping to move to another festival, say they are being as patient as they can be after leaving behind their livelihood. Their plans have changed in the wake of tragedy.
“No, we haven’t been able to get back in because when we were there, we were in one of the booths less than 100 feet from where that guy was,” said vender volunteer Salvador Leyva.
Visitors came only to light candles and pay respects as law enforcement continue to process the scene.
“It’s all material stuff, my wife’s wallet, her ID, bank card, it’s nothing to critical, we do have some stuff there,” Leyva said.
Some stranded vendors are holed up in hotels while others who are out of time have simply left the area, waiting for items to be claimed and returned.
“From what I understand some people are not from even from the State and that’s the unfortunate thing,” said Gilroy resident Patricia Tovar.
Officials and locals say the festival will continue on, and some vendors promise to return.
“I’ll continue because Gilroy is strong,” said Mary Martinez.
Some of the tents have been rented locally, but for many in Gilroy, it’s what’s inside that most important. They have no idea when this scene will be cleared. Officials said Monday it could take several more days.