Festival, we’ll see you in 2022


THE 2022 STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL (and its parade) will be all the more welcome for its two-year absence (Tribune photo).

As pleased as all of us seem to be about what appears to be a victory over the coronavirus, we have to recall there’s been a cost to this battle.

In the U.S. alone, the disease has claimed the lives of over a half million people. In Orange County, the tally is 5,054. And there’s no counting how many businesses closed to never re-open, the jobs lost, relationships damaged and opportunities lost.

With a few scandalous examples, most Americans and Orange Countians have cowboyed up and done the right thing by wearing that mask, washing and sanitizing hands, keeping their distance and – when it became available – getting the vaccine.  We sacrificed for the common good, and our own.

The timing of this topic is especially apt because coming up shortly is Memorial Day and the weekend that traditionally ushers in the symbolic start of summer.

COUNCILMEMBER Thu-Ha Nguyen hands out slices of strawberry shortcake in 2018. At her right is Councilmember Phat Bui (File photo).

Memorial Day, of course, reminds us of the ultimate sacrifice made by Americans who died defending our nation. As praiseworthy as wearing a face covering is, it doesn’t compare to what those heroes did, of course.

Another thing we’ve lost this weekend is the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival, which has been forced to cancel its 2020 and 2021 events out of responsible and correct decisions to respect the public health regardless of the loss of tradition and of revenue to non-profit organizations which participate and raise money for dozens of good causes.

In a typical year, the Festival connects locals with the city’s agricultural past, brings celebrities, excitement and fun to tens of thousands of people. As unfortunate as it’s been to give that up, having it return in 2022 will – we hope – make us all more appreciative and grateful for all the hard work done by the Strawberry Festival Association and it’s all-volunteer staff.

You don’t truly appreciate something until it’s gone.  And we will really be grateful in 12 more months when we get it back.

“Usually Reliable Sources” is posted every other week, alternating with Jim Tortolano’s “Retorts” column.




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