Strawberries are a very special, delicious little piece of fruit that millions of people around the world begin to crave as soon as the weather starts to heat up. In fact, Americans eat an average of three and a half pounds of fresh strawberries each per year! Since California produces nearly 80% of the supply of our country’s strawberries, it’s only natural that we should celebrate these heart-shaped treats over Memorial Day weekend with the return of the beloved Garden Grove Strawberry Festival!

strawberry festival 1The first Garden Grove Strawberry Festival was held in 1958, and was put together as a way to bring together the east and west sides of Garden Grove. The festival itself is a non-profit (501-c-3) organization that is separate from the City of Garden Grove, but has raised money for numerous city projects as well as the city’s police and fire departments. The Garden Grove Strawberry Festival has developed a rich history of giving back, and over the past 50 years over $5.5 million in proceeds has been donated to hundreds of local non-profits! The festival also treats over 2,000 special needs kids to a full day of free rides and food, and college scholarships to local outstanding students are also awarded each year!

We’re definitely planning on kicking off the weekend by attending the Welcome and Strawberry Cake Cutting Ceremony on Friday at 6 pm, where free strawberry shortcake is served to all who attend! The world’s largest strawberry shortcake is cut by the Mayor of Garden Grove and has been reported to weigh as much as 500 pounds!

waveswingblurAdmission to the festival is free for everyone, and wristbands for unlimited rides all day can be purchased for $30 on Friday and $35 Saturday through Monday. For many, these exciting rides are the highlight of our annual Strawberry Festival, and there are dozens of options guaranteed to delight everyone in your family! The festival also offers game booths, arts and crafts, and commercial booths.

There are also several Strawberry themed events, including the annual Strawberry Stomp 5K Run that takes place early Saturday morning before the Festival Parade. Registered participants who participate in their best strawberry themed outfit will be given a chance to receive a one year membership to Chuze Fitness! Every finisher will receive a finisher medal when they cross the finish line and the top 3 male and female in selected age categories will also receive medals. Monday’s Redhead Roundup Contest is also sure to be a hit with categories like Strawberry Blond, Cutest, and Redhead with the Most Freckles!

In the 1980’s the City of Garden Grove began broadcasting the festival parade on local TV stations, and this tradition still continues today. This year’s celebrities in attendance appearing in the parade on Saturday at 10 AM will include, but are not limited to, Miss California, Miss Garden Grove, several awarded actors and public personalities, multiple U.S. Olympians, and Snoopy! There will also be incredible live music and performances over the course of the weekend, including a Strawberry Idol Karaoke Contest!

Join us for the annual fruit fiesta located at the Village Green in downtown Garden Grove that begins this Friday, May 27th at 1 pm and concludes Monday, May 30th at 10 pm. It’s one sweet way to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend with the whole family!