This year, Santa Maria's annual strawberry celebration will be a drive-thru event.
The Santa Maria Fairpark announced Tuesday that "Strawberry Cruzin'" will be held in place of the Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival.
Last year's festival was canceled completely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Fairpark has hosted few events over the past year. It is a COVID-19 testing site for the County of Santa Barbara and holds a weekly swap meet.
The drive-thru Festival of Lights in December was a big hit for the Fairpark and organizers are hoping for similar success with Strawberry Cruzin'.
"This is one of the first steps that we get in towards reopening," said Autumn Acquistapace, Santa Maria Fairpark Interim CEO. "Of course, we'd love to see more in-person availability but with the current restrictions right now and not knowing what the end of April is gonna look like, this is the best way for us to be able to execute this type of activity for the community."
The new event will include strawberry-themed decorations, food booths, and a vintage car display.
Organizers say attendees will park in front of the booth of their choice, place their order, and the food will be delivered to their car.
Vendors include Pete's Berries, Fanny's Fabulous Funnel Cake, Old West Cinnamon Rolls, and Log Cabin Kettle Corn, among others.
Strawberry Cruzin' will take place April 28-29 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and April 30-May 2 from noon to 8 p.m.
Admission is a donation to the Santa Maria Fairpark Foundation, benefiting 2021 Youth Scholarships and the 2021 Junior Livestock Virtual Show and Auction.
The Fairpark is accepting applications for event sponsorships. Click here for more information.