33rd Annual Strawberry Festival
A TRADITIONAL TASTY TRIBUTE IN THE GOLDEN STATE
Strawberry revelry is ripest when the 2016 California Strawberry Festival celebrates its 33rd seasonal celebration May 21-22 on 15 picturesque acres at Strawberry Meadows of College Park in Oxnard. It’s an iconic berry event of epic proportions.
Ranked nationwide among the top outdoor festivals, the fruity fete boasts lip-smacking strawberries every way imaginable, live concerts on two stages, more than 200 fine arts and crafts booths, the Strawberry Promenade with celebrity cooking demonstrations, Strawberryland For Kids with rides and attractions, and wholesome, gooey contests that will appeal to all ages.
An estimated 1.5 million strawberries will be consumed over the weekend, where the region’s most prolific crop is the main ingredient for fun. If you haven’t had strawberry pizza alongside a strawberry beer, you haven’t been to the festival. Or perhaps the strawberry nachos, strawberry funnel cake, strawberry crepes, chocolate dipped strawberries or fried strawberries are more your style. With 50 food booths to choose from, those who wish to control their destiny should head to the “build your own” strawberry shortcake tent to pile on the goodness or enter the “Strawberry Shortcake Build Off” contest.
Best of all, indulging is guilt free. With each bite of berry bliss from the non-profit food booths, 100 percent of sales support their causes. The formula has proven to be a fruitful enterprise with more than $4 million benefitting a multitude of southland charities over the past decades.
Serving up wholesome family fun while paying tribute to the region’s rich agricultural heritage and giving back is what the festival is all about. “We work year-round for an event that takes place over 48 hours,” says California Strawberry Festival Chairperson Kim Gibas. “As volunteers, we’re committed to hosting an exceptional event that brings family and friends together for a great time. We strive to top the experience year after year.”
Where else can you throw strawberries at your best friend in the Tart Toss Contest, or eat a strawberry pie by literally putting your face in it at the Pie Eating Contest?
Oxnard is located just 60 miles north of Los Angeles and 30 miles south of Santa Barbara. The free Park and Ride “Strawberry Express” shuttles from multiple convenient locations off the 101 freeway make getting to the festival a breeze. Amtrak California offers a special Kids Ride Free promotion festival weekend (shuttles meet the trains). Parking is also available on site for $10.
California Strawberry Festival general admission is $12, seniors 62 and older are $8 and children ages 5-12 are $5. Kids 4 and under are free. Active military and dependents with ID are $8. Hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the gate or in advance at www.strawberry-fest.org. The California Strawberry Festival toll free information line is 888 288-9242.
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