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Lemon Launch Event Kicks Off Goleta Lemon Festival

Locals gather at Glen Annie Golf Course to chuck citrus toward the 9th hole with homemade catapults

Kids tried their hands using “lemon launchers” engineered for a competition at the Goleta Lemon Festival’s kickoff event Wednesday.
Kids tried their hands using “lemon launchers” engineered for a competition at the Goleta Lemon Festival’s kickoff event Wednesday.    (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

Anyone who’s ever wanted to see a lemon launched from a catapult saw their dream come true Wednesday, when locals sent the tart fruit sky high in a competition to kick off Goleta’s Lemon Festival.

The first-of-its-kind event at Glen Annie Golf Course helped mark the 24th annual celebration of the Goleta Valley crop, although the festival itself is held next weekend.

The lemon launch provided an opportunity for networking among sponsors and for family fun, with food, face painting and kids activities drawing a crowd.

Of course, the main event was letting local businesses and students build catapults that sent lemons through the air to a festival sign target on hole 9.

One business, Marborg Industries, made a “bazooka-like” launcher — using a pipe and hairspray lit on fire — to blast lemons onto the fairway.

“We’re going to see if they can hit the target,” Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO and president Kristen Miller said.

Latitude 34 Technologies and four students from Garden Street Academy, a private K-12 school in Santa Barbara, adopted traditional wooden catapult designs and invited kids to try and nail targets — stopping to make sure they didn’t hit any actual golfers.

Garden Street Academy earned the "most accurate launcher" award. 

One of its robotics coaches, Mack Fixler, said the students — none of whom were present — had a few hours to come up with a design considering angles, math and other variables.

What they came up with was a catapult that shoots items up to 160 feet. 

Two children of varying sizes were able to hit the target with that launcher, but no one else’s could.

The California Lemon Festival in Goleta really gets going Sept. 26-27, with free entry and parking at Girsh Park  for the array of activities and entertainment.

Besides lemony foods, the weekend will feature the Goleta Fall Classic Car and Street Rod Show, pie eating contests, and arts and crafts vendors.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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.

A competition to catapult lemons across the 9th hole of the Glen Annie Golf Course was part of the Lemon Launch event to start celebrations for next weekend’s Goleta Lemon Festival. Click to view larger
A competition to catapult lemons across the 9th hole of the Glen Annie Golf Course was part of the Lemon Launch event to start celebrations for next weekend’s Goleta Lemon Festival.  (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

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