Carpinteria’s main street was turned into a celebration of all things green at the 26th annual California Avocado Festival on Saturday. A mass of people strolled up and down Linden Avenue all day, and festival goers will have another chance to take it all in on Sunday.
Vendors lined up to offer visitors a variety of products and opportunities, from food and music to ornaments and face painting.
“It’s just an awesome event,” said Viviana Salazar of Seal Beach, who came with her husband and their two children: a 2-year-old daughter and a 3-month-old son.
She said it’s been a tradition for their family since 2005.
“Today is extremely busy,” she remarked. “Other times it hasn’t been this busy.”
Avocado ice cream, honey and breads, along with guacamole, were among the ways the fruit could be indulged.
According to the California Avocado Commission, 90 percent of the nation’s avocados are grown in California.
Santa Barbara, together with Ventura and San Diego, top the list of avocado-producing counties in California, according to the Agriculture Department in 2002.
Reyna Ginsburg, who with her husband owns Yankee Doodle Bakery in Oxnard, has been participating in the festival for 10 years. The bakery sells its avocado tea cake and other pastries.
“It’s one of the best festivals in California,” Ginsburg said. “It’s free, the weather is great ... everybody is in a great mood.”
Each day of the three-day festival, she says, the bakery sells between $3,000 and $4,000 of tea cakes alone.
The weekend has been sunny with high temperatures in the upper 70s.
“This year we have really good weather,” said Kevin Stein, 17 of Carpinteria. “It’s unusually hot this time of year.”
Stein and his friend, Alexis Salinas,17, both Carpinteria High School students, said they came to listen to the bands and meet new people.
“It’s really friendly,” Salinas said. “It’s Carpinteria; what’s not to like about it?”
Security guards oversee the festivities to make sure the event remains safe and family-friendly.
“Everything has been going smoothly,” said security guard Carl Theophile. “When there’s a huge crowd like this, you need security.”
Sunday is the last day of the festival, which continues from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Click here for more information on the California Avocado Festival.