Local strawberry growers are putting their crops on display this weekend at the Santa Maria Strawberry festival.
There are carnival rides, games, vendors, food and much more for everyone to enjoy.
George Porpiglia of Santa Maria has been attending the Strawberry Festival for about 10 years. While he missed it last year, he is happy to be back.
"I love it. It's wonderful. I couldn't wait to get back here,” Porpiglia said.
The festival offers many different activities, but the food is the main draw.
"We feed the world with strawberries and we live right here. We can just come and enjoy the festivities,” Porpiglia said.
Whether it's sampling new items, enjoying a strawberry eating contest or working as a food vendor, everyone has found their own way to enjoy what the festival has to offer.
Fernando Soto has been selling food with his family at the Strawberry Festival for more than 10 years. His parents started out 10 years ago with one canopy selling Mexican food. From there, they expanded to two food trucks and now Fernando sells pizza out of his own food truck, adding to the variety of cuisines.
"We're one of the few that have returned after the pandemic,” Soto said, adding that he is thankful for the support he has received from the community that has allowed him to continue to come back year after year.
"I love Santa Maria people and the Central Coast-area people. They always have a good time when they're here and that's my enjoyment with the festival. There's nothing like that,” Porpiglia said.
Friday, anyone 62 and older get in to the festival for free. Saturday is kids day, so children ages 6 to 11 can get into the festival for $2.
The Strawberry Festival will run from noon to 10 p.m. through Sunday.