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

Contests at the Festival

Berry Best Hat Contest

Presented by Players Casino

12:00pm at the Strawberry Promenade
Bring your own beautiful berry bonnet creation 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 fabulous prizes.

Berry Best Dressed Baby Contest

Berry Best Dressed Baby Contest

Presented by Stride Rite

2:45 pm at the Jest in Time Family Fun Stage
Open to infants up to four years of age. Youngsters, with the help of their parents, parade across the stage to the “oohs and aahs” from the crowd. All participants receive recognition. Sign up at the Jest in Time Family Fun Stage 30 minutes prior.

Winner receives fabulous prizes.

Strawberry Tart Toss

Strawberry Tart Toss

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

Strawberry Shortcake Eating

Strawberry Shortcake 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.

Pre-Festival Contests

Berry Blast Off Recipe Contest

Presented by Ventura County Star

Hearty congratulations to Jake Hagen from Granada Hills who took the grand prize for the 2018 contest with his Coconut Shrimp with Strawberry-Chiptole Dipping Sauce and Sweet Coconut Rice!

Do you have what it takes to take the 2019 title of Berry Best Recipe?

If so, enter your best original, non-baking, strawberry recipe or your favorite sauce, dessert, entré, dip, drink, jam, spread, appetizer, snack, etc.

Each entrant receives a complimentary ticket to attend the Festival. Grand prize winner and runner up will each receive fabulous prizes.

Now it’s quicker and easier to enter because your entry can be completed online.

Deadline April 5th, 2019

Contest Rules


Contest Application


Previous Winners’ Recipes

2018 Winner – Coconut Shrimp with Strawberry-Chipotle Dipping Sauce and Sweet Coconut Rice

2017 Winner – Korean Style Strawberry Marinated Beef Tacos in Lettuce Leaves and Daikon Radish Sweet and Spicy Kimchi

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

2015 Winner A – Strawberry Vinaigrette Marinated Bacon Steak Spinach Salad

2015 Winner B – Steamed Strawberry Coconut Poke Cake

2014 Winner – Spicy Strawberry Five Spice Chicken Wings 

2013 Winner – Strawberry Coconut No-Bake Tiramisu

Elementary School Youth Art Design Contest

Presented by Wells Fargo

Each year, the Festival reaches out to Ventura County school districts inviting teachers and their K through 6th grade students to create a colorful strawberry design as part of their curriculum highlighting Ventura County’s rich agricultural heritage. All students who submit a design receive a free ticket to the Festival. Finalists receive recognition and prizes.

Out of 1,633 entries from kids in kindergarten through sixth grade, the colorful creation featuring a sweet-smiling strawberry of 8-year-old Allison Chavez was selected as grand prizewinner of the California Strawberry Festival’s 35th Anniversary Celebration. Allison’s design will be on display Festival weekend in the Community Connections booth.

In honor of her accomplishment, Festival organizers brought a party to her second-grade classroom at Haycox Elementary School 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



2018 Battle of the Bands

2018 Berry Battle of the BandsPresented by Cumulus Media

Congratulations to Danielle Stacy for winning this year’s competition. She will be playing at 11:00 AM on Sunday, May 20th on the Festival Stage. Check the rest of our exciting entertainment line up here.

Artwork Contest

Artwork 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 could be used as the official artwork for the 36th Anniversary Festival with branding and souvenir posters, collectible t-shirts and merchandise. In 2017 we opened up our submissions to include the digital arts.

Congratulations to Natasha Aitouganov of Sherman Oaks who was our 2018 winner. Born in Belarus, Natasha began drawing at the young age of seven. Her parents, realizing her talent, immediately enrolled her in art school. After immigrating to the United States in 1993, she studied production design at the American Film Institute. She has been a production designer for many years as well as a professional artist.

Natasha used a combination of line graphics and watercolors to produce her digital art piece. When asked about her process, she answered, “When I began thinking about the poster design, I asked myself, ‘what’s the best thing about strawberries? Naturally, it’s their taste.’” Her winning design perfectly captures the wonderfully delicious taste of our Festival’s namesake.

This is the first time Natasha has entered the California Strawberry Festival’s official poster contest and she’s very happy she did. “Winning the contest is an incredible feeling!”

To check out the posters since 1984 click here

To view contest rules and guidelines, click here

Submissions for 2019 are now closed