Goleta’s Lemon Festival made it return Saturday for the first time since 2019. Now in its 29th year, the festival began in 1949 as a small street fair celebrating the planting of lemon trees around the Stow House.
“It is going great. There are thousands here and we have been having lines all day. There are lots of families enjoying the entertainment,” Mary Lynn Harms-Romo, festival organizer and director of communications for the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce, told the News-Press.
Saturday’s festivities included a pie eating contest which took place at noon with 10 kids in the 12 and under category and 10 contestants in the over 12 category. Ms. Harms-Romo estimated that there were at least 10,000 attendees on Saturday.
“Even the months leading up to it have been super exciting. All our volunteers and sponsors are so happy it is back. We have over 200 volunteers and 55 sponsors,” said Ms. Harms-Romo when asked how it felt for the festival to return after its long absence.
“There has been lots of family fun today and tons of kids,” said Ms. Harms-Romo, noting that children’s activities included bounce houses, bubble fun and more. “There are lots of kids lining up for activities and games. There is also a children’s exhibit known as Safety Street which allows children to see emergency vehicles up close including mounted sheriff’s, patrol cars, fire engines and ambulances. There are lots of kids on the rock climbing wall and the food looks amazing, including Rusty’s pizza, potato spirals, lemonade, lemon meringue pie and more.”
The event also included an annual car show that has been part of the festival in recent years.
“The 15th annual car show had over 60 vehicles. There is a nice breeze, live entertainment and tons of food and beverages,” said Ms. Harms-Romo. The winners from the car show are as follows: Jerry Collins’ 1960 El Camino won Best in Show, Bill Anderson’s 1931 Ford Roadster
Won Best “Bitch’in” Paint and Raylene Senke’s 1973 Mercury Capri won Best Interior.
The festivities continue today with a full entertainment lineup as well as another pie eating contest at noon.
“We are so appreciative of all the volunteers. We couldn’t make it happen without them,” said Ms. Harms Romo.
The festival continues today at Girsh Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For a full event line-up, visit https://lemonfestival.com/2022/09/19/lemon-festival-entertainment-lineup/.