Remember a few weeks ago when I told you I was headed to the California Strawberry Festival? Well. I did it. I went, and I had a blast.
It started on Saturday morning, I woke up around 8am, gave myself a little internet time then got ready and hit the road. I filled up the gas tank then drove for about a hour and a half to Camarillo where I parked my car at one of the shuttle locations, and took it to the California Strawberry Festival fairgrounds.
The shuttle ride into town was awesome because along the way you could see all the strawberry fields in the area. It reminded me of all the farmlands back home, which I missed, and it was my first time seeing any sort of farming in California altogether.
It was pretty neat seeing fields upon fields of strawberries. I use to work in a grocery store, and I stocked many cartons of strawberries in my life so to actually see this end of it was refreshing.
Once I got into the fairgrounds the first thing I saw were the booths upon booths of art and crafts. A variety of vendors lined the sidewalk. They had beautiful wall hangings, photographs, soaps, jewelry, hats, apparel, and other neat stuff to look at. I am a huge fan of looking at other’s creations so I got lost in the booths for quite a long time.
One of the amazing craft vendors showcased there. They made these adorable piggy banks of all different animal creations. Gave a completely different spin on the piggy bank =)
I walked a bit further and soon found the food area. I was fascinated just looking at what kind of food creations were being made with strawberries. There was strawberry pizza, strawberry nachos, deep fried strawberries, chocolate covered strawberries, strawberry smoothies, strawberry crepes, strawberry shortcake.
I think I committed a cardinal sin by the first food item I purchased had nothing to do with strawberries, but when I laid my eyes on roasted corn I couldn’t resist, and it was ohsogood! 😉 But I recovered quickly and ran off to get myself a Strawberry Crepe with Chocolate Mousse.
Yum. Looks good, doesn’t it?
I soon walked around the corner when I ran across this sign:
The time? 11am. The verdict? I couldn’t pass up champagne with a Strawberry in it. So what did I end up doing? I indulged. I enjoyed it, and I lived to talk about it 😉 They also had Strawberry and Raspberry Beer available.
I soon wandered off to the next part of the festival where I ran across a few more food vendors, and a live music stage. I listened to the music for a little bit when I ran across Stonefire Naan Flatbread, and omg, it was YUMMY! They provided a cooking demonstration that I sat through in which they showed some easy recipes you could make with the naan flatbread. You have to try this out!
I explored a bit more. I ran into Strawberry Shortcake, a Strawberry Twirl Ride, and a man bungee jumping:
And then I found myself in the FoodShare tent. Foodshare is an amazing nonprofit that helps to feed the hungry by the power of the people for the people. And inside the tent I caught the remaining two contestants of the Berry Blast Off Recipe Contest that is held every year on behalf of the California Strawberry Festival.
People are asked to submit a favorite non-bake strawberry recipe of theirs. There were over 100 entries into this contest, and then 5 finalists were chosen. These 5 finalists take part in a mini competition before the festival where they are narrowed down to 2 contestants. The final 2 contestants then compete at the California Strawberry Festival. They were Olivia Smith from Oxnard, CA with her Strawberry Crepe recipe and Winona Krieger with her Strawberry Lasagna Recipe.
Above Winona (left) and Olivia (right) are making their recipes for the judges. The judges were directly behind them watching the entire thing. The ladies had one hour to make their creations and present them to the judges. The judges then voted, and the winner was decided. A big congratulations goes out to Winona Krieger. She won a 4 night Carnival Cruise Vacation!
and the best part was? Everyone in the audience got to sample their creations after the competition. Winona’s Strawberry Lasagna was delicious. Unfortunately it was a mad house so I never got to try Olivia’s Crepes. =)
One more stop to the food booths where I tried a few more items:
The amazing Strawberry Shortcake Creation I made. The ladies in the booth told me exactly how to get the most out of my money. I surrounded the bowl with all the pound cake that I could. I put the strawberry purree on the bottom then filled my bowl up with strawberries and covered the creation with whipped cream. As I walked out many people walked by me and said, “now that’s what I’m talking about.” I felt I did the California Strawberry Festival right 😉
And after this I had to try one other Strawberry Item:
Strawberry Salsa! People were walking around saying how good it was so I had to try it for myself. I was quite pleased. It did have a little bit of a kick to it, and I was pleasantly surprised, and gobbled it right up.
I then headed back to the art and craft vendor booths and did one last walk around before heading back to my shuttle for my drive home. In the end it was a great day, and this has officially become one of my favorite California Festivals!
Disclosure: I was provided free tickets to attend the festival. All food items were purchased with my own money, and the day was my complete firsthand experience of this wonderful festival.
A toast to the California Strawberry Festival for a raving success! I’ll definitely be attending next year =)
Being apart of the Biannual Blogathon Bash I learned about making photo collages so here you go: