April 26-28, 2019, 11 a.m. daily - exhibits close at 10 p.m. Carnival closes at midnight
Santa Maria Fairpark
General admission $8-10, approx.
carnival wrist bands $25-35
937 South Thornburg Street
Santa Maria, California
The annual Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival couldn't be more appropriate for the region that grows the biggest, sweetest, juiciest berries on the planet! When you drive into Santa Maria on I-101 during berry season the sweet smell brakes through the barrier of your climate controlled vehicle and lets you know you have arrived in Strawberry Country!
Where to stay: If you are looking for hotels in Santa Maria some prefer Historic Santa Maria Inn. The hotel has charm but you'll find great amenities and comfort in a newer property, Fairfield Inn & Suites. They are good choices, as well as the Radisson and Holiday Inn.
The annual Santa Maria Strawberry Festival is one of approx. half a dozen such events, and holds the distinction of being one of the first strawberry festivals for the season. Berries actually are growing and yielding in February but the festivals don't gear up quite so early. Up the road in Arroyo Grande the more famous Memorial Weekend Strawberry Festival gets a lot of attention, but Santa Maria's berry festival has a rich history of promoting the city's crop that is among its favorites.
Among the food contests, vendors selling strawberry shortcake and the fantastic cultural and agricultural exhibits lies a rich history of the berry in the Santa Maria Valley. This is one festival where the food comes straight from local farms to you.
A midway carnival is a daily thrill during this 3 -day event held at the Fairpark. Rides that are anticipated and likely will appear include: Strawberries, the family oriented spin ride, Scooter bumper cars, Red Barron, Kiddy Combo, Tune Train, Jungle of Fun, Fort Fun, Roller Coaster, Texas Tornado, Ferris Wheel, Klondike Club funhouse, Tilt-A-Whirl, Super Slide, The Sizzler G-force NASA style ride, The Zipper, Century Wheel and Hammer Time classic Loop O Plane.
Petting Zoo, Pony Rides, Sports Zone, Clowns and Balloon Art all excite the kids. For adults there's Strawberry Tasting, a Cooking Show, Strawberry Pie Eating Contest and the Strawberry Queen Coronation.
Go Kart Races, local talent dancers, bands and music, and Fiesta Day entertainment are a few of the attractions and events blasting you into the fun zone just beyond the midway Carnival
Events are not guaranteed. It is your responsibility to confirm before going.