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34th annual Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival underway now

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Posted at 6:20 PM, Apr 28, 2023

The 34th annual Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival kicked off Friday at the Santa Maria Fairpark.

From live entertainment to carnival rides, food vendors and strawberries, the Strawberry Festival is a big community event filled with a little something for everyone.

"We're here for the strawberries and they are sweet," said Tran, a festival attendee.

Cristina Espindola, who lives in Santa Maria, said she comes almost every year. This time, she brought her friend from out of town and showed her around.

Some vendors, like animal balloon maker Steven Rosen, were at the festival for the first time.

Rosen, who came all the way from Las Vegas, makes fun balloon animals, superheroes, princesses and "everything in between."

"I've been doing this a little over 11 years," Rosen said. "My favorite part is just watching the kids smile when they run away."

For other vendors, the festival is a tradition.

"We've been doing it for a while," said Ana Ybarra, a vendor. "I think my older son was eight years old. He's 27 now, so we try to do it every year."

Ybarra said it's been a challenging year not having a lot of berries due to the rain. But that didn't stop her from coming to the festival.

"We like to do the Strawberry Festival because we get to see a lot of people," Ybarra said. "I like to talk to the customers."

The Strawberry Festival takes place Friday through Sunday, April 28 to 30, from noon to 10 p.m. each day.

Tickets for the festival range in price from $13-$15 and can be purchased at the Fairpark's box office.