Saturday, May 17, 2008

Southern California Memorial Day things to do: Garden Grove Strawberry Festival

Garden Grove Strawberry Festival
Once a year on Memorial Day weekend thousands of people head to Garden Grove for the annual Strawberry Festival. This year the festival celebrates it's 50th anniversary. Fifty years ago Garden Grove was a sleepy little farming town in rural Orange County. Today there are only a few acres of farm land left but the city still takes time out to remember it's farming heritage.

The Celebrity Grand Marshal is Oscar Award-Winning actor Martin Landau. The four-day event, which is the second largest city festival in the Western United States, will be held at the Village Green between Main Street and Euclid Avenue in downtown Garden Grove. Last year’s attendance was over 250,000.

Highlights include the official giant strawberry cake cutting ceremony at 6:00 p.m. Friday evening and Saturday’s parade which starts at 10 a.m. with floats, bands and equestrians. Celebrities scheduled to be in the parade are film and television stars Rhonda Fleming and Dick Van Patten, Young and the Restless star Kate Linder, KOCE Real Orange news anchor Ed Arnold, Chris Warren, Jr. who plays Zeke in High School Musical, Jennette McCurdy from Nickelodeon's iCarly, Sammi Hanratty from ABC's Pushing Daisies, and the Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Field Cate from ABC's Pushing Daisies,Zane Huett from Desperate Housewives, and Mike Conway, the grandson of Francis X. Bushman, silent film star and the very first Garden Grove Strawberry Festival parade grand marshal. Many will stay after the parade to sign autographs.

The 50th Annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival will be held Memorial Day Weekend Friday, May 23 through Monday, May 26, 2008. Friday hours are 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Monday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The festival is held on the village green at the corner of Garden Grove Blvd and Euclid street in Garden Grove, California. Admission is free.