A multitude of engaging activities let you enjoy the celebration by joining in the experience.

Contest Area presented by Coca Cola

California Strawberry Sponsor
Strawberry Festival Community Connection

Contests at the Festival

Strawberry Tart Toss

Strawberry Tart Toss

11:00am and 2:30pm
Ready set goooooo! Take aim for in your face fun.

Strawberry Pie Eating

Strawberry Pie Eating

1:00pm and 4:00pm
A timed challenge you can really sink your teeth into. Devour every last bite of strawberry pie, sans utensils. Available to contestants 13 years of age or older.

Strawberry Relay

Strawberry Relay

You and a teammate go through a series of obstacles to assemble and then consume, a strawberry dish in record time.

Berry Best Hat Contest Berry Best Hat Contest

Berry Best Hat Contest

Presented by Players Casino

3:00pm at the Strawberry Promenade
Create your own berry bonnet that puts the Kentucky Derby to shame and parade your strawberry style for the judges. Sign up at the Strawberry Promenade 30 minutes prior. Must be at least 15 years of age.

Winner receives: Gift certificate for an overnight stay at the beautiful Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort on the shores of Oxnard and a $100 gift certificate to the award winning Tierra Sur Restaurant at Herzog Wine Cellars.


Berry Best Dressed Baby Contest Berry Best Dressed Baby Contest

Berry Best Dressed Baby Contest

Presented by Smart & Final

3:30pm at the Strawberryland Kids Theatre
Open to infants up to four years of age. Youngsters, with the help of their parents, parade across the stage to garner “oohs and aahs” from the crowd. All participants receive recognition. Sign up at the Strawberryland Kids Theatre 30 minutes prior.

Winner receives: A portrait session and $100 print credit with Toki Lee Photography; Petunia Pickle Buttom designer diaper tote bag, and a $50 gift certificate to the award winning Tierra Sur Restaurant at Herzog Wine Cellars.

Pre-Festival Contests

Berry Blast Off Recipe Contest Berry Blast Off Recipe Contest

Berry Blast Off Recipe Contest

Presented by Ventura County Star

Thank you to all who submitted yummy recipes! Each will receive a complimentary ticket to attend this year’s Festival. After a wonderful response our chefs judging committee has selected the five semi-finalists who will compete for the chance to be in finals.

Applicants entered an original non-baking strawberry recipe of their favorite sauce, dessert, entrée, dip, drink, jam, spread, appetizer, snack, etc. This contest is also recognized as a qualifier for the World Food Championships.

Five semi-finalists will compete in a timed, iron chef-style challenge Tuesday, May 9 at 11:00am at the professional kitchen of the Courtyard by Marriott Oxnard, where they must prepare and present their strawberry dish within one hour. The judges select two finalists to continue on with VIP access in a competition for the ultimate reward before a crowd at the Festival May 20th.

The grand prize winner will choose from a four-day, three night VIP getaway vacation at a Welk Resorts villa property in either Palm Springs, San Diego, Cabo San Lucas, or Branson, Missouri (airfare not included), and a Cutco studio knife set valued at close to $500. The runner up will receive an overnight stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Oxnard along with a complimentary dinner for two at the acclaimed Tierra Sur Restaurant at Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard.

2017 Semi Finalists:

*Korean Style Strawberry Marinated Beef Tacos In Lettuce Leaves and Daikon Radish Sweet and Spicy Kimchi from Elizabeth Koseyan of North Hills

*Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars from Jake Hagen of Granada Hills

*Strawberry-Filled Chocolate Crepes with Strawberry-Pomegranate Wine Sauce from Brenda Wong of Los Angeles

*Strawberry Shrimp Tacos with Strawberry Jicama Salsa and Chipotle Lime Yogurt Sauce from Katie Hagan of Port Hueneme

*Strawberry Risotto with Basil and Strawberry Balsamic Reduction from Michael Cohen of Los Angeles

Click here for the 2017 Berry Blast Off Recipe Contest Rules

Previous Winners Recipes

2013 Winner – Strawberry Coconut No-Bake Tiramisu

2014 Winner – Spicy Strawberry Five Spice Chicken Wings 

2015 Winner A – Strawberry Vinaigrette Marinated Bacon Steak Spinach Salad

2015 Winner B – Steamed Strawberry Coconut Poke Cake

2016 Winner – Lemongrass-Ginger Strawberry Shrimp Crisps & Strawberry Avocado Mash

Strawberry Spirit Facebook Photo Contest Strawberry Spirit Facebook Photo Contest

Strawberry Spirit Facebook Photo Contest

Presented by Wescom Credit Union

Submit your favorite photo of the California Strawberry Festival and you could win free tickets to attend the Festival. Weekly winners. Click here for details

Enter the Berry Battle of the Bands Contest Enter the Berry Battle of the Bands Contest

Enter the Berry Battle of the Bands Contest

Presented by Cumulus Media

If you’re ready for center stage, we have a sweet opportunity for you. Enter the “Berry Battle of the Bands Contest” and you could earn $1,000 as a headline performer at this year’s Festival. Co-hosted by Cumulus Media, the opportunity is open to all musical genres. For consideration, send a link of your band’s song/performance along with your contact phone/email to before April 30. Good luck!

The winning band will perform at the Festival Stage Sunday, May 21st from 11am to noon for patrons of the Festival.

Official Poster Contest

Official Poster Contest

As a symbol of each annual celebration, we showcase an original work from the winner of our poster contest. It’s been a part of the Festival’s heritage since our inception and has grown to become a coveted honor of recognition. The grand prizewinner receives $2,000 and their creation serves as the symbol of the 2017 Festival with branding and souvenir merchandise with posters and collectible t-shirts.

This year we opened up our submissions to include the digital arts, and we had a record 70 entries – including an inquiry from as far away as Italy. Our winner lives in Ventura County along the shores of the pacific. As a nationally acclaimed artist her works hang in many homes throughout the nation. She is a master at digital watercolor technique. Using a virtual canvas, she mixes her colors and paint traditionally, using a stylus, graphics tables and computer software instead of regular brushes. We think the creative result is nothing short of breathtaking.

Congratulations to Nomi Wagner of Nomi Wagner Portrait Artist, pictured here with the winning creation.

To check out the posters since 1984 click here

Elementary School Youth Art Design Contest

Elementary School Youth Art Design Contest

Each year, Festival organizers reach out to school districts throughout the southland and Ventura County inviting teachers and their K-6th grade students to create a colorful strawberry design as part of a study plan about the region’s rich agricultural heritage. Students with the top creations receive recognition and prizes and all participating youths get a free ticket to the Festival.

This year’s winner is five-year-old Fatima Ponce, from Hathaway Elementary School in Oxnard. Her whimsical design of a rollerskating strawberry was the top pick from 951 entries. Fatima’s art work will be on display Festival weekend in the Community Connections booth. In honor of her accomplishment, Festival organizers brought a party to her kindergarten classroom and presented her with her framed artwork and a $100 gift certificate.

Click here for info and guidelines

Click here for Youth Design Entry Form