Garden Grove

Let them eat strawberry cake!

KATHY GARVER, celebrity grand marshal of the 2022 Strawberry Festival waves to fans at the opening ceremonies of the 2022 version (Orange County Tribune photos by Jim Tortolano).

Two years is a long time to wait for your favorite things, and that feeling seemed to be evident when the 62nd Garden Grove Strawberry Festival opened for business on Friday afternoon at the Village Green park.

The coronavirus pandemic interrupted a tradition that goes to 1958, but the demand for four days of fun, food, entertainment and more over the Memorial Day weekend seemed as strong as ever. This year, the theme is “Celebrating Essential Workers,” a term made common because of COVID-19.

MADILYN DAO (in green) and Kaitlyn Dao (blue) perform a hip-hop dance.

Crowds thronged the festival grounds, and long lines of people stretched down Main Street to get a free piece of the “world’s largest strawberry shortcake.”

TV and movie actor French Stewart – who started his career on stage at the Gem Theater in Garden Grove – served as master of ceremonies for the “welcome” event.

An entertainment highlight was a hiphop dance performance by Madilyn Dao and Kaitlyn Dao, 14, of the Garden Grove Boys and Girls Club.

On hand also were parade celebrity grand marshal Kathy Garver (“Cissy” in the 1960s TV comedy, “Family Affair”) and theme grand marshal Tom DaRé (Garden Grove police chief).

The festival resumes on Saturday with the parade commencing at 10 a.m. It is all organized by the volunteers of the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival Association.


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