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Strawberry Festival draws crowds with food, fun, entertainment to Oxnard’s College Park


The California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard included an eating contest, and the victor shares his secret.
Juan Carlo, VC Star

The bright red berry that is a pillar of Ventura County agriculture drew tens of thousands of visitors to Oxnard’s College Park on Saturday for the 36th California Strawberry Festival.

The event, which continues Sunday, features food, rides, entertainment, vendors, crafts and — of course — the namesake fruit sprawled across the park at 3250 S. Rose Ave., next to Oxnard College.

Some came to buy fresh strawberries from one of several growers’ stands.

Nataliya Novikova and Patricia Bothuel had stacked full trays of berries from Faria Farms LLC on a hand truck for an annual haul.

MORE: Road closures planned for California Strawberry Festival this weekend

“We do this every year,” Novikova said. They make strawberry shortcake for friends, smoothies for Novikova’s son, and once tried making jam. Some of the supply ends up in the freezer, Bothuel said.

Glen Hasegawa, a surfer who owns Faria Farms, said the event gives him a chance to meet customers face to face. The company sells berries wholesale, he said, so he doesn’t normally deal with the public.

“I like being at the festival to talk to people about it because they ask a lot of questions,” Hasegawa said. “It’s good — you can educate the public.”

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Onyx Gleser holds a tie-dyed strawberry blanket from Harmony Tie Dyes at the California Strawberry Festival.Ashwin Subramanian competes in the strawberry shortcake eating contest at the<p>Article source: <a href=

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