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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 12:10 am | A Few Clouds 57º


However You Slice It, Goleta Lemon Festival Hits the Sweet Spot

Sponsored by Goleta Chamber of Commerce, 27th annual festival continues Sunday at Girsh Park with rides, live entertainment and all things lemon


Rebecca Dezan bit into her lemon meringue pie during the free pie-eating contest at the Goleta Chamber of Commerce’s 27th annual Goleta Lemon Festival on Saturday afternoon.

The 9-year-old said she likes lemon meringue pie and had only eaten a couple prior to the competition.

Girsh Park, at 7050 Phelps Road, was a sea of people during the festival, and they congregated at the Santa Felicia Drive end for the pie-eating contest.

The two-day festival kicked off Saturday with thousands of lemon enthusiasts celebrating the yellow citrus fruit with delicious lemon food and drinks, live entertainment and family-friendly activities. Vendor booths and nonprofit organizations also were on hand to provide information.

The festival pays tribute to Goleta’s heritage as a pre-eminent lemon-growing region during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

“At one time, the lemon packing industry was pretty big here,”said Kristen Miller, president and CEO of the Goleta Chamber of Commerce. “The orchards are still beautiful and visible along Cathedral Oaks (Road), framing our city and they are still working orchards.

“Back in the day there were packing houses as well, and we became a little bit famous for the Goleta lemons and beautiful labels that were made to put on the crates as they were shipped.”

The American Riviera Bank Main Stage was jam-packed with headliners, including Spencer the Gardener, The Bomb, Georgetown, Phantom Pomps and Area 51.

“I love our entertainment lineup,” Miller said. “We have all of our favorite Goleta local bands.”

Archery tag is a new activity this year at the Kids Zone, she said. Other fun amusement for children include obstacle courses, mini-golf, a rock wall, slot cars and Euro bungee. An all-access wristband costs $30 and individual tickets are $1 apiece. The majority of the rides cost four to eight tickets.

The lemon lounge, sponsored by Signature Flight Support, featured lemon ale from Hollister Brewing Company, lemon IPA from M.Special and lemonade blueberry cider from Santa Barbara Cider. Festival-goers also can watch college and NFL football in the Cox Communications football lounge, and play giant Jenga and corn hole.

The Goleta fall classic car show, presented by DCH Lexus of Santa Barbara, was held Saturday, and featured a vast collection of cars and classics to street rods.

The festival had a variety of savory and sweet food booths, sponsored by community organizations and local restaurants.

Attendees satisfied their lemon craving with lemon meringue pies and homemade lemon bars, pies and tarts prepared by Anna’s Bakery and Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Kona Ice of Santa Barbara offered shaved ice and fresh-squeezed lemonade.

The festival continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Girsh Park, 7050 Phelps Road behind Camino Real Marketplace. Admission and parking are free.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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