Saturday, March 24 , 2018, 5:02 pm | Fair 64º


Local News

Add Zest to Your Weekend at Lemon Festival in Goleta

The Girsh Park event squeezes in a lot of entertainment, food and fun for all ages

There’s a bright weekend ahead for Goleta residents and visitors, with a forecast of sunny weather and the 18th annual California Lemon Festival.

Goleta’s Girsh Park will play host to food and entertainment for all ages, beginning Friday.

While this week’s rainstorm didn’t threaten the festival itself, everything had to be moved from the softball field to pavement. The silver lining is that elderly people and those with strollers are likely to have an easier time maneuvering the festival, said Sylvia Redding of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, which organized the festival.

Admission and parking are free for the event, expected to attract about 30,000 people over the weekend. The event, which is always held the third weekend of October, has seen steady increases in attendance over the years, Redding said.

The most popular event is the no-hands pie-eating contest, she said. There will be two contests, one for youngsters and one for adults. Both will be at noon Saturday and Sunday and don’t require prior registration.

The contestants have a limited amount of time, so cleanliness is usually a low priority, Redding said. “They really have to get in there,” she said.

Also on hand will be dozens of vendors with lemon-flavored food, including lemon ale in the beer garden.

Saturday features the Goleta Fall Classic Car & Street Rod Show on Santa Felicia Street, and wine tasting from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. for an additional $15. Weekend-long events include arts and crafts vendors, a green business trade show, rides, live music and children’s activities.

“It’s going to be quite a party,” Redding said.

The famous “Safety Street” will feature local emergency personnel, including fire departments and the American Red Cross-Santa Barbara County Chapter. Cottage Hospital hasn’t confirmed its attendance, but it may be present to sell flu shots, Redding said.

The ride area will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, and the whole festival will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

MarBorg Industries is the festival’s presenting sponsor, with support from The Towbes Group Inc. and Venoco Inc. Other sponsors include Noozhawk, Albertsons, Allied Waste Services, AMS Entertainment, ATK Space Systems Inc., Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Cabrillo Business Park, Camino Real Marketplace, Citrix Online, Cox Communications,, FLIR Commercial Vision Systems, Foundation for Girsh Park, Goleta Water District, Montecito Bank & Trust, Rabobank, Raytheon, Santa Barbara Airport, Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians,, Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics, Synergy Computing, Tri-Valley Trophies & Specialties and Wilson Printing.

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Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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