California Strawberry Festival - 35th Annual - 2018
- California Strawberry Festival - 35th Annual - 2018
05.19.18, 10:00 h - 18:00 h
- Strawberry Meadows of College Park - Oxnard, CA
Fairs and Festivals
The 35th Annual California Strawberry Festival features over 50 food booths, contests, rides, attractions, 200+ Arts & Crafts vendors, concerts, celebrity chef demonstrations, and family fun!
The Festival is located at Strawberry Meadows of College Park at 3250 South Rose Avenue in Oxnard.
Oxnard is approximately 62 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles and 35 miles south of Santa Barbara.
Due to weekend street closures, we do not recommend using GPS and Waze navigation. Please refer to the driving directions below. Numerous signs off the freeway alert you of options and also direct you to shuttle stops (the preferred way to get to the celebration).
Parking on site is $10. No overnight parking permitted.
California Strawberry Festival - Ventura County
About the Festival:
One of the sweetest treasures of the Golden State, the California Strawberry Festival began in 1984 in salute to the rich agricultural industry that etches Oxnard’s coastal landscape with the tasty fruit that’s hard to resist. Strawberries are the prized harvest in Ventura County where 11,538 acres produce more than 27 percent of the state’s supply with peak season production of 10 million pint baskets shipped worldwide daily.
No doubt, thousands of years earlier when the Chumash Indians roamed the coastline and traded with smaller villages among the nearby Channel Islands, they reaped bountiful harvests from the area in what the Spaniards (who later colonized it) referred to as “the land the of everlasting summers.”
The first California Strawberry Festival in 1984 found its roots at Oxnard’s Channel Islands Harbor. At the helm of the planning committee and instrumental from the onset was the current Mayor of Oxnard, Nao Takasugi, along with soon to be Mayor Dr. Tsujio Kato, who, with the help of County Supervisor John Flynn, helped lay the foundation along with the all-volunteer board. Committee members never imagined that the fledgling event would grow to become recognized among the nation’s top outdoor Festivals with far reaching effects that today find $3 million donated to charities. In the beginning, it was all about ensuring the celebration would happen the following year.
With all day entertainment, an array of fine arts & crafts, contests and a presentation of strawberry delights, celebrations at the harbor brought droves of patrons eager to sample the unique brand of fun. Within seven years, the waterfront location became unable to accommodate the increasingly popular event so it was moved to its current home at Strawberry Meadows of College Park off South Rose Avenue in Oxnard.
With the new expanded location came a tremendous number of benefits. From 1984 to 1990 at the harbor 30-40 arts and crafts vendors showcased their originals. Now the fine arts & crafts presentation welcomes 200+ artists from numerous states. In addition, at the expanded oasis there are 50 food and beverage stands with a wine pavilion, a Strawberry Promenade with cooking demonstrations and a three-dimensional “Life of a Strawberry Exhibit,” Strawberryland For Kids with free rides and attractions, and two festival stages with non-stop musical entertainment. Other special attractions over the years have included the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales, the Toyota Highway to the Future Mobile Hybrid Experience, Frisbee Championships, and others. Best of all, with every bite of delicious strawberry dishes from the various non-profit food vendors, 100 percent of proceeds benefit various charitable organizations, while additional funds earned are distributed back into the community through grants and scholarships to children of farm workers.
Just as the strawberry received its name from the fruit “strewn” among the leaves growing in multiple groups, offshoots of the California Strawberry Festival have spread throughout the years to other areas beyond the two-day weekend. When the International Festival and Event’s Association conducted a research study in 2002, they estimated the Festival’s economic impact to the region hovered close to $7.5 million. Tourism gets a boost as people travel from both near and far to partake in the berry best of fun. Bolstering civic pride, in the months leading up to the Festival, ongoing pre-events like the official poster contest, strawberry recipe contest and youth art contest provide an opportunity for all ages to get involved and earn recognition for putting forth their best efforts.
Since its inception, the Festival has seen attendance blossom under the auspices of bringing people together in celebration while planting seeds to improve and empower the community. When it comes to tons of strawberries and tons of fun, the California Strawberry Festival provides the perfect ingredients of an award-winning recipe for helping others.