Lemon ale, lemon ice cream and lemon cotton candy will all be on the menu in Goleta this weekend at the 18th annual California Lemon Festival.
Event organizers expect more than 35,000 people to attend the three-day event, which begins tonight. Hosted by the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, the lemon celebration will also offer carnival rides, wine tasting, live music and a classic car show.
Goleta Chamber president and festival organizer Kristen Amyx said UCSB students are an instrumental part of the event’s success.
“We have about 200 volunteers that help us all weekend, and a bunch of them come from UCSB,” Amyx said. “We really rely on student volunteers. It’s fun, you’re outdoors and some of it is with the kids. And if you have any community service hours to complete, it’s a great way to do it.”
UCSB’s Latino Business Association President Arlene Pérez said volunteering has been a great way to learn about the Goleta community.
“We really want to give the students exposure about the Goleta community,” Pérez, a fourth-year political science and philosophy major, said. “We want to show them that being a student at the university isn’t just four years in Isla Vista or at UCSB, but there’s the larger community of Goleta around them, and we want to help out that community.”
Student volunteers will help set up the festival, work as vendors and greet visitors.
“In general I think it’s a great venue for resources and to find the connection between ‘I’m a student here in Santa Barbara,’ versus ‘I’m a student and a member of the community,'” volunteer director of the festival Sergio Villa said.
In addition to putting lemons center stage, the festival will also distribute disaster preparedness information. Amyx said there will be a “Safety Street” event, which will display emergency response vehicles and provide safety tips for lemon-eating attendees.