Savor the Sweet at a Very Strawberry Celebration

The big-big-big California Strawberry Festival arrives in Oxnard.

What to Know

  • May 19-20
  • Oxnard
  • $12 general admission

Whether you break out a couple of strawberries, or a classic clamshell, or an old-school green basket, or a full-on strawberry-packed flat, there are going to be questions from the other people standing around your kitchen: How do we use these absolutely luscious gems of the garden?

For a strawberry is a gift that's small in size but ginormous in flavor, sheer redness, panache, and health benefits. And it can be eaten straight from the stem, yes, or sent to star in a host of sundaes, salads, and, you bet, the all-important shortcakes.

The California Strawberry Festival, one of the most stupendously sized of our state's many annual strawberry soirées, understands the delightful dilemmas strawberry lovers face when they're faced with a new brimful box of fresh strawberries.

So the Oxnard party, which turns 35 in 2018, serves up strawberries in all the ways, or at least a lot of all the ways, making it one of the ultimate places to be for area strawberryists.

The dates are Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20, general admission is $12, and the to-dos, kid rides, and contests are as colorful as the fruit the festival is fêting.

Highlights include the Build-Your-Own Strawberry Shortcake Tent,

Okay, we're leaving that comma hanging on purpose, because, really, a build-your-own strawberry shortcake tent should be the beginning, middle, and the end of this happy story.

But there's more happiness afoot at the juicy happening, from the Berry Best Hat Contest, the Strawberry Tart Toss, Strawberryland for Kids, and the Berry Blast Off Recipe Contest Championship.

So, how does a person find cuisine-making creativity in a new flat or clamshell of big, perfect, seed-tastic strawberries?

Here's inspiration: Head for Oxnard, indulge in all of your shortcake-y dreams, try a bunch of other strawberry-laden and not-strawberry-laden foods, too, all while celebrating one of California's most royal and beautiful berries on a perfect spring weekend.

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