The city of Carpinteria is hosting its 24th annual Avocado Festival this weekend, offering visitors a wide variety of food and activities in celebration of the nutty, buttery fruit.
The three-day event is located on Linden Avenue in downtown Carpinteria and is free to all attendees. Food booths will feature entrees including ice cream, tri tip, cocktail sauces, and guacamole for avocado enthusiasts.
According to Executive Assistant of the California Avocado Festival Karen Gebhart, the fair is a nonprofit event aimed at helping local growers raise money.
“The vendors who have a booth, they benefit from whatever proceeds they make as their own fundraiser,” Gebhart said. “We provide them with a venue to raise their own money, but as a nonprofit organization we do not make a profit ourselves.”
As part of the event’s festivities, avocado connoisseurs will have the opportunity to participate in contests including best guacamole and largest avocado.
Gebhart said the preparations made before competitions have become a major part of the judging itself.
“The presentation has been very, very competitive,” Gebhart said. “The taste is important, but the presentation has really become something amazing.”
In addition to various food booths, the festival will present a variety of local music and family orientated games centered on the fruit staple.
Gebhart said a new feature at this year’s fair is an interactive educational playground featuring the Nintendo Wii’s wireless controllers.
“This year we have the Nintendo Discovery DSi Zone, a 20×40 footprint set up so that people can walk through and play on the wireless systems for educational gaming,” Gebhart said. “They are very excited to be here in our festival and we are equally excited to have them here.”
Gebhart also noted each year the festival organizers try to build upon the previous year’s experiences and success.
“We have also added a fourth stage to the kids’ area with storytelling and music for the kids now, as well as some new vendors and musical acts,” Gebhart said. “We try to make it better every year.”