DAISY TATUM – BOARD MEMBER, 33RD ANNUAL CALIFORNIA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL MAY 21–22
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 and 22, 2016 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 & Crafts booths, the Strawberry Promenade with celebrity cooking demonstrations, Strawberryland For Kids with rides and attractions, and wholesome, gooey contests, appealing to all ages.
An estimated 1.5 million strawberries will be consumed over the weekend where the regions 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 selections from 50 food booths, those who wish to control their destiny should head to the “build you 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% of sales support their causes. The formula has proved to be a fruitful enterprise with more than $4.5 million dollars benefiting 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 in 48 hours,” says California Strawberry Festival Chairperson Kim Gibas. “As volunteers, we’re committed to hosting an exceptional celebration that brings family and friends together for a great time.” She adds, “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 & Ride “Strawberry Express” shuttles from multiple convenient locations off the 101 freeway make getting there 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. Address: 3250 South Rose Avenue, Oxnard.
California Strawberry Festival general admission is $12, seniors 62+ 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:am to 6:30pm. 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.
GERRY FURTH-SIDES - LOCALFOODEATER COLUMNIST/EDITOR - FOOD AND RESTAURANT SCENE IN LA
A proud first generation American, Gerry books in progress include, One Day as a Lion: every word true story about enemy-alien Lee Furth’s war in the U.S. 10th Mountain Division” and A Long Way to Go for Dinner, featuring “the influence of the immigrants who come to cook for us.” She is the only interviewer to have two interviews (based on her book) for NPR Story Corps, currently archived in the Library of Congress. She is co-writing, The Revolution Will be Eaten: The New Kosher with French Tunisian Chef, Alain Cohen. She covered Southern California for Frommer Guide books.
National magazine work included Newsweek (print and TV), Jewish Forward, Cause (Black) and Saludos (Hispanic),Santa Monica Daily Mirror; Beverly Hills Courier (“Cecil Pennyfeather” column); American Institute of Food and Wine, and Women’s Culinary Alliance, where she co-created the event, “Food is Architecture, Architecture is Food” with WCA and Women in Architecture.
In her role as researcher, segment producer and on-camera talent for local and west coast television holiday tours since 1984, Gerry was profiled in “Have Turkey, Will Travel,” a Copley syndicated article, and featured in a Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine photo column. Gerry was co-host and producer of the “To Your Health” TV show in Beverly Hills. She was Assistant to the Executive Producer for an Emmy-nominated NBC-TV series on immigrants and she was a researcher on two “Watts Years Later” specials on NBC-TV.
Gerry has co-produced and helped publicize food-focused charity events since 1985, including Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation. She was editor of American Institute of Food and Wine and Women’s Culinary Alliance, where she co-created the event, “Food is Architecture, Architecture is Food.”
Gerry earned her undergraduate B.A. degree in history at Monteith College (University of Chicago program); her Dual Master's Degree in Education and American History at Antioch College in Ohio); a master's degree in English as a Second Language and Cultural Diversity at UCLA. Phd work was at American University, (under UCLA auspices).