61-derful Years of the Garden Grove Strawberry Fest

Is that free shortcake-cutting ceremony still a thing, too? Oh, you bet it is.

Garden Grove Strawberry Festival

What to Know

  • May 24-27, 2019
  • Free admission
  • Shortcake cutting ceremony is set for 6 p.m. on Friday, May 24

Every basket of strawberries eventually is emptied, and every carton of strawberries 'n cream sorbet has its final scoop, and finding the last strawberry blondie in the pan?

It'll happen, if you're lucky, and you outrun all of the other strawberry lovers in your home.

Strawberry festivals, too, have a way of winding down each springtime, even in California, where the berry bashes seem to bloom with a festive frequency.

Alas: May 2019 is ending, and so must our annual strawberry celebrations, but not before one of the majors of fruit-tastic form, the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival, takes the sweet centerstage.

And what a centerstage it is, for this venerable happening always has quite the kick-off.

Oh yes, it is the famous Friday evening strawberry shortcake ceremony, where a truly huge confection is sliced and everyone who shows up for a slice gets one.

It's a warm welcome for the Village Green-based bash, no doubt, but the warmth goes even further, for admission to the four-day Memorial Day Weekend festival is free.

That said? You'll want to show with money, should you want to take a spin on the Ferris wheel or the Kite Flyer or the other carnival-cute rides.

Are there foods to nosh upon, beyond berry-based goodness?

Well, for sure, you'll find a lot of fruit-oriented foodstuffs, but you can purchase savory fare, too. Also nice? There are several local organizations that sell vittles at the festival, if you want to know that your money is helping out a charitable cause.

A parade, Dawn Wells (yay, of "Gilligan's Island" and a parade co-grand marshal, along with Garden Grove's own Esparza family), contests (oh yes, warm up those pipes for a karaoke showdown), and other old-timey amusements dot the schedule like strawberry slices dot a shortcake.

Look, the strawberry sorbet in your freezer has to end eventually, and the strawberry blondies do get eaten. Likewise, our local strawberry festivals must fade away, as spring winds down, so best go Garden Grove for this annual carnival, one that's sweetened things up for over six decades. 

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