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Garden Grove Strawberry Festival is back after 2-year hiatus due to COVID

By Jessica De Nova,


After a two-year break brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival is back in full force this weekend.

Many people who attended the event on Friday went for one thing: strawberries.

Since its start in 1958, the event has grown into a full-blown carnival, bringing visitors of all ages, like the George Garcia and his children.

"It's just a great place for them to have fun since, you know, they haven't been out too much since COVID, so now they get to enjoy it," he said.

Dawn Miller, one of 21 festival directors, said they're all volunteers, except for their publisher. Plus, all the fun goes toward a good cause.

The festival raises money for nonprofits throughout Orange County and for city departments.

"We donate things," said Miller. "We donate appliances and roofs and buses and things that nonprofits can use or repairs for their buildings."

One of those organizations is OC Autism. Founder and President Julie Diep said she has autism and so do her children.

Diep works to empower others on the spectrum.

"Our monkey, our mascot, he gets paid to be here, because we hire people on the spectrum," she said. "We believe in educating, empowering and employing people with all abilities and just helping them be a part of society."

A cake-cutting ceremony kicked off the event with free strawberry shortcake. Seventy sheets of cake and 40 flats of strawberries were used made for a delightful treat.

The parade at the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday on Ninth St. and Chapman Avenue.

The festival will continue until Monday.

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