Strawberry Festival planning in works

0
325
Straw4web.jpg

It's that time of year again.

Well, almost.

The Garden Grove Strawberry Festival — the biggest event in Garden Grove and one of the biggest in Orange County — is scheduled for May 23-26 at Village Green, between Euclid and Main streets in downtown Garden Grove.

This year's them is "Honoring Our Exceptional Educators."

It's that time of year again.

Well, almost.

The Garden Grove Strawberry Festival — the biggest event in Garden Grove and one of the biggest in Orange County — is scheduled for May 23-26 at Village Green, between Euclid and Main streets in downtown Garden Grove.

This year's them is "Honoring Our Exceptional Educators."

Parade organizer Judy Cooper has not announced a grand marshal or celebrities who will participate in the festival, but, per usual, she's working on it and announcements will be made in the coming weeks.

Past celebrities include Ben Vereen, Pat Boone, Billy Barty, Gene Hackman, Shirley Jones and a host of others.

What about Steve Martin, the most famous person ever to grow up in Garden Grove? Nope, but that's another story. Let's just say organizers have tried.

This year's festival — the 56th one — will feature the usual the fun: a parade, rides, games, contests, vendor booths and, of course, fresh and delicious strawberries.

Admission is free. Unlimited access to rides costs about $25-30. Hours are 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Started in 1958, the Garden Grove Chamber of Commerce put on the first Garden Grove Strawberry Festival as a way to bring together the east and west sides of Garden Grove. Resident Tom Hoxie, a public relations professional, suggested a festival to celebrate the area’s then prolific strawberry fields. That first festival was held on a vacant lot in the Brookhurst Triangle, an area bordered by Garden Grove Boulevard, Brookhurst Street and Brookhurst Way. And Hoxie, true to his profession, sent locally grown strawberries to a monastery in Europe — the festival’s first PR ploy.

When the chamber decided not to hold a strawberry festival the following year, a group of citizens formed a non-profit organization, the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival Association, and moved the festival to Garden Grove Park where there was more parking.

The festival became and has always been a charitable event benefiting local organizations. In the past 50 years, more than $4.5 million has been donated to hundreds of non-profits.

For more information about this year's festival, or to volunteer or donate, call 714-638-0981 or visit  info@strawberryfestival.org.