STRAWBERRY TIME: When one thinks of a large strawberry festival, one's thoughts immediately turn to a few things. Strangely, or not, nearly all of them are pie- and shortcake-oriented. First thought: Will I compete in a pie-eating contest, the kind of contest where I get whipped cream all over my general head area? Likely. Second thought: Will I toss strawberry tarts at a loved one, for glory and bragging rights? Probably. Third thought: How many of these items will I consume? Many. Many items, is the answer. The California Strawberry Festival is just ahead, and it indeed has plenty of pies and tarts and contests and other seed-happy to-dos. The 2011 dates are Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22, and the location is Oxnard. Hi, Oxnard!
BEYOND THE BERRY: A sweet Strawberryland'll be set up for tots (yep, there's a Berry-Go-Round). There will also be music and entertainment and various demos and tips on growing berries in your own garden. A general ticket is $12. Oh. And don't feel like driving? Amtrak has a deal set up, complete with a "Strawberry Express" shuttle that'll take berry buffs to the fest (and note that while there is a cost for the train ticket the shuttle is free).