Festival fun kicks off May 27

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Since 1958, the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival has treated the community to free strawberry shortcake at its grand opening ceremony, this year to be held in the Showmobile Friday, May 27 at 6 p.m. at Main and Acacia streets in Garden Grove.  

The giant cake will be created by French’s Pastry Bakery in Costa Mesa. In the past as many as 2,000 have come out for free cake.   

Since 1958, the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival has treated the community to free strawberry shortcake at its grand opening ceremony, this year to be held in the Showmobile Friday, May 27 at 6 p.m. at Main and Acacia streets in Garden Grove.  

The giant cake will be created by French’s Pastry Bakery in Costa Mesa. In the past as many as 2,000 have come out for free cake.   

Some of the Saturday parade celebrities, who cannot resist having a taste, will be there to say a few words and help pass out cake to the crowd.  They include Celebrity Grand Marshal Miss California Bree Morse, Miss Garden Grove Raena Ramirez and  Miss Garden Grove Outstanding Teen Jenna Tower. Plus film and TV stars  Dee Wallace (ET: Extraterrestial), Forrest Wheeler (Fresh Off the Boat), Johnny Ortiz (American Crime), Jae Head (The Blind Side), Camryn Grimes (The Young and the Restless), Matthew Moy (Two Broke Girls), and Murray Wyatt Rundus (Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything).

Many local dignitaries also attend. Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen will cut the first piece and present the giant strawberry cake top to Miss Garden Grove Raena Ramirez. 

During the four-day Memorial Day weekend event, more than 300,000 annual attendees head for the festival’s 200-plus food and commercial booths where they find treasures to buy and all kinds of treats to try. Booths open at 1 p.m. on Friday May 27 and at 10 a.m. on May 28 through May 30.

The 2016 Festival Theme is “Celebrating Our Local Sports Heroes.” Fourteen outstanding boy and girl athletes from each of the Garden Grove high schools  will ride in the 10 a.m. Saturday parade.  This year, 12 charities will be selling food to fill their coffers: Garden Grove’s  Assistance League,  Boys and Girls Club, Emblem Club, High School Band Boosters, High School Baseball Boosters, Kiwanis Club and  Lions Club, in addition to the Guardettes of Orange County, Job's Daughters, Pacifica High School Girls Softball and Shakespeare of Orange County.  Collectively, the food booths bring in approximately $90,000 for their charities. 

Offerings include strawberry treats such as strawberry smoothies, cheesecake, crepes, bowls of strawberries with soft ice cream, strawberry sundae, strawberry shortcake, strawberry bread, strawberry royals, tart cups, chocolate covered strawberries and boxes of strawberries.   Fairgoers will also find nacho supremes, pizza, chicken wings, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, carne asada, chicken tacos, cheese quesadillas, funnel cakes, baked potatoes, breakfast muffins, corn on the cob, hot dogs, chillitos, BBQ beef sandwiches and popcorn chicken. 

La Casa Garcia is donating food for the festival’s annual pre-parade breakfast Saturday, May 28 at 7:30 a.m. at the Garden Grove Community Center, 11300 Stanford Ave. Scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage, ham, a scrambled egg/bacon combo, fried potatoes, plus orange juice and coffee will be served for $7 per person paid at the door with all proceeds benefiting We Give Thanks, a charity annually providing Thanksgiving dinners for thousands of needy people. 

 

Sponsorship support this year comes from Southern California Ford Dealers, Garden Grove Tourism Promotion Corporation, Great Destinations, Clear Channel Outdoors, McDonalds, Care Ambulance Service, Sam’s Club, Republic Services, Garden Grove Hospital, Brandywine Homes, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn and Suites and La Casa Garcia.  Media sponsors include OC News and its community newspapers, Parenting OC, OC Weekly, Korea Times, Nguoi Viet Daily News, El Panamericano, Farandula USA, Miniondas, and radio stations 103.4 MYfm, KOST, JACK FM, KABC, KLOS, KDAY-FM, KWVE 97.3, KSWB 100.3fm The Sound LA, KWIZ La Ranchera 96.7, AIR1 Radio, Radiocentro 93.9, KEARTH 101 and The Wave.

The Festival has donated over $6.5 million to local charities since 1958.

For more information, visit www.strawberryfestival.org.