The city of Goleta is expecting thousands of attendees for the 19th annual Lemon Festival at Girsh Park this weekend.

The celebration has new attractions this year, including a wider variety of spirits in the coastal wine and beer pavilion in addition to a helicopter landing and tour. However, the festival will still feature old favorites, such as the euro bungee, rock climbing wall and 6th Annual Classic Car Show.

[media-credit name=”Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons” align=”alignleft” width=”250″][/media-credit]The Lemon Festival began in honor of the multiple lemon orchards surrounding the Santa Barbara area. Naturally, lemon-themed foods have become part of the tradition, and festival-goers can indulge in lemon desserts and beverages as they browse the different activities and shows.

Kristen Amyx, the president and CEO of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, said there is something for everyone who attends the festival.

“We have a great entertainment lineup,” Amyx said. “There are also great activities and the lemon pies and food.”

The Barber Shop Quartet, The Rawhides, Santa Barbara Dance Arts, The Bomb and Georgetown the Band will play live music throughout the weekend.

The festival is supported by local sponsors who say the festival benefits Goleta by bringing local businesses and community members together. Kathleen Koeper, a spokesperson for MarBorg Industries —the presenting sponsor for this year’s festival — said the company loves helping the Lemon Festival.

“MarBorg is a family owned and operated business and we are in full support of this family event,” Koeper said. “We encourage the entire community to come out Saturday and Sunday to enjoy this fun-filled day.”

Students are welcome to attend or volunteer at the event. Anyone who wants to help can sign up online at the city of Goleta’s website or show up at the volunteer booth on Saturday.

“We rely heavily on student volunteers,” Amyx said. “[Volunteers are] part of the tradition of the Lemon Festival and the volunteers receive a free T-shirt.”

Haley Skov, a fifth-year ecology, evolution and marine biology major, said that while she was not aware of the Lemon Festival, it sounded like a fun event.

“I’m surprised I’ve never heard of it, but it sounds interesting,” Skov said. “I’m always up for events with free music concerts.”

This year’s complete event line-up and photos from the 2009 festival are available online at There is free admission and parking all weekend for attendees.