Thousands of lemon lovers sampled citrus treats and took a stroll down “Safety Street” this weekend at the California Lemon Festival in Goleta.
The three-day festival featured all things lemon, including lemon ale, lemon cotton candy, lemon chicken, lemon bars and several lemon-meringue pie eating contests. In addition to the lemon merchandise, the festival offered advice on “green” housing and provided entertainment for children such as pony rides, bounce houses and a slot car raceway.
Event coordinator Sylvia Redding said that approximately 35,000 people attended the three-day event at Girsh Park in Goleta, and that it went off without a hitch.
“I’ve seen a lot of happy faces,” Redding said. “I think we’ve had a lot of people in and they seem to be enjoying themselves.”
In addition to all the lemons, local agencies hosted “Safety Street” at the festival in order to promote disaster preparedness. The Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. landed their helicopter on a nearby field on Sunday, while paramedics and firefighters talked about the operations of their department. CAL Fire and the California Highway Patrol also displayed their equipment and discussed their job duties with festival attendees.
The Fire Dept. also put on a demonstration by using the Jaws of Life to show how a car accident rescue would take place. The ladder truck arrived on scene with lights and sirens, and the rescue workers proceeded to dismantle an old Volvo. Taking off the driver’s side door and peeling back the roof, firefighters went in to save the trapped motorist while a crowd of people looked on.
Third-year business economics major Sean Levredge said that he attended the festival for the first time with his family on Sunday.
“The lemon cotton candy was pretty lemony,” Levrodge said. “It was really good. The helicopter taking off was really cool.”
The festival also hosted the fifth annual Goleta Fall Classic Car & Street Rod Show on Saturday, along with several events showcasing local talent. South Coast Karate held demonstrations, and there were performances by Carl Ray & Friends with the Tropical Island Dancers.
More than 200 volunteers helped put on the festival, including members of Pi Beta Phi sorority. The volunteers were responsible for everything from collecting tickets on rides to greeting people as they entered the festival.
Third-year communication major and Pi Beta Phi sorority member Sarah MacQueen said that the festival was an opportunity for students to get involved outside of campus.
“[Pi Beta Phi] has always been involved in the festival,” MacQueen said. “I was involved since I was a freshman. It’s really fun to see all the kids when they get excited.”