Garden Grove

59th Strawberry Fest salutes super heroes

THE STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL starts Friday and continues through Monday (File photo/Mark Samala).

The 59th annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival will open Friday afternoon at the Village Green Park and continue through Monday with four days of events, entertainment, rides and celebrities. The theme this year is “Honoring Our Local Volunteer Super Heroes,” and the celebrity grand marshal will be Burt Ward, who portrayed Robin in the campy Sixties TV series “Batman.”

Randy Barth, founder of the Think Together educational foundation, will be the theme grand marshal. Ward and Barth will ride in the festival parade, which steps off on Saturday at 10 a.m. The parade starts at Ninth Street heading west on Chapman Avenue, then turns south at Euclid Street, finally breaking up at Stanford Avenue.

BURT WARD (SFA photo).

The festival, originated nearly six decades ago as a tribute to what was then the city’s leading agricultural crop, serves as a major fund-raiser for community and civic groups. Since its inception in 1958, the event has helped raise over $6 million. Last year the Strawberry Festival Association donated over $150,000 to local charities who applied.

As usual, the festival will take place at the park at Euclid and Main streets in the downtown area of Garden Grove. Attendance last year was estimated at over 300,000, making it the second largest community event of its type in the western United States.

Highlights include the cutting of the giant strawberry shortcake at 6 p.m. on Friday, the 5K Strawberry Stomp run Saturday morning and the VIP celebrity breakfast at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Community Meeting Center.

Admission is free, and special one-price ride-all-day wristbands are available for $30 on Friday and $35 each on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

The weather is expected to be a mix of cloudy and sunny in the low Seventies Friday and Saturday, rising to the mid-Seventies Sunday and Monday. Festival hours are Friday from 1-10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Monday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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