Garden Grove

Carnival, cake and more at 60th Festival

MISS GARDEN GROVE Sarah Bui, Festival Association President Scott Weimer and Garden Grove Mayor Steve Jones with the special commemorative cake topping the strawberry shortcake handed out Friday afternoon at the Strawberry Festival (Orange County Tribune photos).

The 60th annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival opened Friday under cool, then sunny skies, attracting big crowds to the event at the Village Green in the downtown area of the city. This year’s theme is “Celebrating 60 Years of Fun and Funding Charities.”

Visitors to the site at Main and Euclid streets lined up for the carnival rides, devoured hot dogs and browsed at the many booths selling everything from Green Bay Packers ponchos to political parties.

The biggest attraction was a tradition just one year younger than the festival itself, and that’s the cutting of a huge strawberry shortcake, with a slice for each of the hundreds of people who lined up at the Showmobile at Acacia Parkway and Main Street.

COUNCILWOMAN Thu-Ha Nguyen hands out slices of strawberry shortcake Friday at the Strawberry Festival. At her left is Councilman Phat Bui.

Students from local high schools and local officials, including members of the Garden Grove City Council, handed out the treats to festival-goers, some of whom had waited hours for a hunk of sugary nostalgia.

The festival continues on Saturday, with the feature event being the parade which starts at 10 a.m. The celebrity grand marshal is Mickey Mouse, while Jack Wallin, who has been active with festival since the beginning, is the theme grand marshal.

There’s also the 5-K Strawberry Stomp run which starts on Main Street and ends at the Community Meeting Center. It begins at 8 a.m.

Parade-watchers can see the procession start at 9th Street, then turn west on Chapman Avenue, then south on Euclid Street, finally breaking up at Stanford Avenue. The parade will include marching bands, floats, equestrian teams and more.

Other events planned for Saturday include a VIP breakfast at the Community Meeting Center (7 a.m.), musical performances at the Showmobile (1-8 p.m.) and the Strawberry Idol Karaoke Contest in the Festival Amphitheater (7 p.m.).

Festival hours on Saturday are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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