Memorial Day weekend is typically defined by when and where you are BBQing. However, if you live on the Central Coast there is another time-honored tradition – the Annual Strawberry Festival in the Village of Arroyo Grande. For 35 years we have dedicated this weekend to celebrate our favorite local fruit – the strawberry. Once a tiny event, in 35 years it has grown to include food, craft vendors, live entertainment, carnival rides, games and contests!
The Strawberry Festival is one of the largest festivals held on the Central Coast with thousands of participants – virtually something for everyone.
As a resident of the village myself, I always look forward to this weekend. I love hitting all the booths and seeing what crafters are coming up with each year. I am always in search of a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry, or something hand crafted for my garden. There are always new things to find at this event.
My husband reluctantly drags along by my side to be rewarded eventually with some type of BBQ or other street food find. Yes, I am married to the man who loves the food channel and tortures me with talk of all the different ways to cook meat. Therefore, this is also, one of the weekends he looks forward to.
Of course, the highlight is dessert, meaning, a million ways to eat strawberries! Funnel cakes, shortbread, pancakes, you name it, and they put strawberries on it!
After we have stuffed ourselves we like to listen to the variety of musical acts playing throughout the village. Later we will sit and relax in Heritage Square and watch all the little ones running around and enjoying the fun.
For those who would like to make room for the extra strawberry-filled calories, they can begin the weekend with the Strawberry Stampede. A fun run through the Village hosted by the Arroyo Grande Kiwanis. If you are lucky enough to have a touch of ginger in your hair then come on down and compete in the Strawberry Blonde Contest (one of our partners may have won that contest as a mother/son duo 10 years ago). And don’t miss all of the non-profit and professional booths offering ways to volunteer and services dotted throughout.
So, this weekend come pay homage to the Strawberry. Have a bite, spend some dough and relax and enjoy some of the best that the Central Coast has to offer!