Garden Grove hosts the Strawberry Festival again
GARDEN GROVE, Calif.—Hundreds of thousands of people enjoyed a weekend full of carnival activities with the return of Garden with trees62-year-old annual tradition, the Strawberry Festival, after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.
“I watched the parade as a kid and throughout my career, which makes it so special,” city police chief Tom DaRé said in a statement.
As always since 1958, the four-day event kicked off with a cake-cutting ceremony, where a giant 70-foot-long strawberry cake created by French’s Pastry Bakery in Costa Mesa was cut and passed out to the crowd.
Among the carnival rides were rows of local and regional vendors selling food, games, local produce and, most importantly, strawberries.
Lincoln Spring Farms was selling strawberries by basket at the event. Irma, a farm representative, said the festival brought the community together, with many familiar faces showing up.
A parade was held Saturday morning featuring Chief DaRé and parade celebrity Grand Marshal Kathy Garver from the television series “Family Affair.” Participants had the opportunity to dance alongside live bands on a showmobile.
Patrick Catlin, president of the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival Foundation, told The Epoch Times that there’s been a lot more police attendance at the event this year, which has been “really positive” in building police bonds. and residents.
“I got a lot of great feedback from community members, they are here to take pictures with our police department,” he said.
The foundation also supports local charities, scholarships, and nonprofits.
It donates about $100,000 each year to the local community, which has totaled more than $7 billion during its 62 years of running the festival, according to Catlin.
In addition, eight Garden Grove Unified School District students also receive $1,000 scholarships each year, Catlin said.
The Strawberry Festival was actually started – as a unique event – in 1958 by the Garden Grove Chamber of Commerce to showcase fresh strawberries from the local farm and bring the east and west sides of town together, according to the official website of the event.
However, the first festival was so popular that a group of residents founded a non-profit organization – the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival Foundation – the following year to make it an annual tradition of creating fun and tasty memories while giving back to the community.