The town of Oxnard was fruitier than usual this weekend with nearly 70,000 people packing the region for an annual strawberry festival.
The event showcased the main agricultural crop of the Oxnard plain — California strawberries. Organizers of the 27th annual California Strawberry Festival said visitors ate more than a million strawberries at the event, including strawberry creations such as fruit strawberry wine, strawberry pizza and the traditional chocolate-dipped strawberry.
Festival director Patrick Mullin said carnival rides, live music and local art also attracted the attention of event-goers and their families.
“The families like to have the kids have fun, and it’s a family event,” Mullin said. “You see people coming from all over, and people are bringing their kids. There’s a lot for people to do for a good price.”
The Ventura County Farm Bureau said strawberries were the county’s number one crop in 2008, accounting for $393 million in sales for area farmers.
According to Mullin, a significant portion of sales from the strawberry festival would be donated directly to local charities and non-profit groups.
“We give back to the community almost $300,000 every year,” Mullin said. “The non-profit groups can make up to as much as $20,000 for their weekend venture, which they can use for their functions.”