Carpinteria, California -- Avocados are the primary agricultural industry along the Central California coast north and south of the city of Santa Barbara. The fruit is a delicious, nutrient-rich, soft green fruit you can eat inside the firm shell and around the huge seed, or scrape out of its natural container and slice on salads, tostadas, Mexican dishes, make into chilled soups, throw as topping onto a hot pot of chicken soup, and prepare a thousand ways.
Best Guacamole Contest gets anywhere from 10 to 50 entries and judging is based on presentation, taste and originality. Check the website for details about the contest.
Largest Avocado Contest gets some whopper avocados you won't normally see on the average home tree. Winners have previously weighed in at over 3 pounds!
Now that you know that this fruit is so versatile, you'll understand that the Avocado Festival is about contests for best recipes, contests surrounding the fruit, and the usual fair stuff. You can look at art, buy gifts from crafts vendors, and buy a variety of foods ranging from sausages to gyros at the annual event that includes bands and entertainment during three days of fun.
Held each year in October in in Carpinteria, the event attracts thousands who come to enjoy festivities you'll find in an annual fair and other such events.
The festival area is along Linden Avenue near the beach and parking is incredibly tight so the best method of getting a ride is to do the shuttle park & ride that runs the event weekend from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., doing a constant loop. The catch: $10 fee to Park N Ride. If you think you can find free parking, it will be really tough, but good luck! To get to parking, exit Linden and follow the signs to Park 'N Ride.
Events are not guaranteed. It is your responsibility to confirm before going.