City of Watsonville gears up for the long-awaited Strawberry Festival

Come Friday, the annual Strawberry Festival in Watsonville will be returning. The 3-day festival celebrates the largest crop in the Pajaro Valley. On Thursday, the city started shutting down streets for crews to start gearing up. The festival first started back in 1994, but it was canceled back in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and returned as a one-day event last year. Director of City Parks & Community Services in Watsonville, Nick Calubaquib said, “It’s really kind of symbolic of Watsonville’s resilience throughout the pandemic and its ability to bounce back as a community.”This year, it’s back and in full force. People will be able to pick up and enjoy all their festival favorites. “Everything from barbecued to corn, baked potatoes and so forth, and of course, a large number of different strawberry type foods as well. So everything from strawberry pizza to ice cream to fruit drinks and whatnot,” Calubaquib said.The event will also have vendors for people to shop, along with live music performed by local artists. “It’s also an event where our nonprofits are out there. There’s a lot of the communities out there, the dancing, the celebration,” said Watsonville city manager Rene Mendez. Many also point out that the festival highlights the history and impact of agriculture in the town. “The strawberry festival really is a way for us to celebrate our agricultural heritage, economic development that agriculture brings to Watsonville, and to celebrate our farm workers,” Calubaquib said. Festival dates & times: Friday, Aug. 5 5-9 p.m.Saturday, Aug. 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7 11 a.m – 7 p.m.

Come Friday, the annual Strawberry Festival in Watsonville will be returning. The 3-day festival celebrates the largest crop in the Pajaro Valley. On Thursday, the city started shutting down streets for crews to start gearing up.

The festival first started back in 1994, but it was canceled back in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and returned as a one-day event last year.

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Director of City Parks & Community Services in Watsonville, Nick Calubaquib said, “It’s really kind of symbolic of Watsonville’s resilience throughout the pandemic and its ability to bounce back as a community.”

This year, it’s back and in full force. People will be able to pick up and enjoy all their festival favorites. “Everything from barbecued to corn, baked potatoes and so forth, and of course, a large number of different strawberry type foods as well. So everything from strawberry pizza to ice cream to fruit drinks and whatnot,” Calubaquib said.

The event will also have vendors for people to shop, along with live music performed by local artists.

“It’s also an event where our nonprofits are out there. There’s a lot of the communities out there, the dancing, the celebration,” said Watsonville city manager Rene Mendez.

Many also point out that the festival highlights the history and impact of agriculture in the town.

“The strawberry festival really is a way for us to celebrate our agricultural heritage, economic development that agriculture brings to Watsonville, and to celebrate our farm workers,” Calubaquib said.

Festival dates & times:

Friday, Aug. 5 5-9 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 7 11 a.m – 7 p.m.

Contributed by local news sources

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