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A Unique Celebration of Fruit and Community at the Vista Strawberry Festival

When considering the best destination for your next vacation, let the friendly faces, beautiful surroundings and abundant activities of Vista, California, help you decide. The history of Vista dates back to the mid-19th century. After the Mexican-American War, California became the destination for many settlers traveling west, looking for gold and new opportunities to establish a life. California's first winery was established here in 1879 by the Delpy family, but it was closed due to Prohibition in the early 20th century. Growth in the area was slow at the beginning of the 20th century. Through the 1910’s, the town had less than 1,000 residents. The 1920’s brought new life to the area when Lake Henshaw was added to the Vista Irrigation District. The town began to grow almost immediately with the extra agricultural resources. Post-WWII the city began to shift from an agricultural center to a residential city. The city currently has over 96,000 residents and is a beautiful place to visit and live.


With an average high temperature around 73 degrees in May and an average of 258 days with sunshine annually, Vista is perfect for a wide range of activities. The local parks are beautiful and you’ll find ample locations for hiking, relaxing, picnicking, yard games, biking, exploring and so much more. Vista is also home to some great attractions including The Wave Waterpark, Alta Vista Gardens, and the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum. You’ll encounter a variety of restaurants, serving up an array of delicious meals. If you enjoy beer and wine (and are age 21+), the area is home to many different breweries and wineries that offer tours and tastings. The people of Vista love to gather, interact and celebrate, and a great example of this takes place during the Vista Strawberry Festival held each May.


As the Vista Strawberry Festival heads into its seventh year, organizers are expecting big crowds and plenty of sunshine and fun. This year's attendance numbers are predicted to cross 75,000 people for this multi-day event. With a wide range of activities, the festival is perfect for a the entire family or date night. Kids will love the vibrant atmosphere, rides, games and all the strawberry themed treats. Adults can stop by the beer garden, where there will be a good selection of local craft beers and wines to choose from. Food will be available through various vendors, or you can eat at one of the nearby restaurants. The Vista Strawberry Festival is a complete festival experience with something for everyone. got the opportuntiy to speak to Angel Mason, Representative for the Vista Strawberry Festival, to talk about the festival.


RAL: Tell me a bit about the event.

AM: The Annual Vista Strawberry Festival, sponsored by Tri-City Medical Center and brought to you by the Vista Chamber of Commerce, is back for 2016. This year the festival will be bigger and better than ever. We are expecting over 75,000 people in attendance as we celebrate the seventh year of this great community event.


The Festival officially kicks off in Historic Downtown Vista on Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 6:45 am with the Mossy BMW of Vista Strawberry Festival Run (10K, 5K, 1-Mile, ¼-Mile). Featuring over 300 vendors, multiple entertainment stages, bands, contests, carnival rides, and local craft brews all day in the beer garden, the Vista Strawberry Festival is certain to be a day full of food, fun, memories and of course – strawberries! Why strawberries? Vista was once the “Strawberry Capital of the World” and still boasts many strawberry fields.


RAL: What makes the festival unique.

AM: Our festival is for all ages and backgrounds. Anyone and everyone is encouraged to come out and have a great time with us in beautiful and historic downtown Vista. Not only is this a festival, but it also has the feel of a massive street fair. Whether you're here for the food, music, art or rides, the festival won’t disappoint.


RAL: Take me through a typical day at the event.

AM: Everyone is invited to come out early, enjoy carnival rides, and watch talented artists create their masterpiece sidewalk art displays live.


The kids’ carnival ride area opens on Thursday, May 27th, and features an exciting 250-feet Zip-line attraction that will certainly make this area even more enjoyable for kids and adults alike. The ever popular Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps will be returning this year with their Snow Foam. This is an area where kids can play in a seeming endless amount of soap suds. Also, there will be jumpy rides, a paint ball game, and so much more.


Brought to you by Twin Oaks Gallery, the Chalk-Alive Extravaganza Art display starts on Saturday, May 28th. Here you’ll find a wonderful selection of unique art created by sidewalk chalk. Along with professional chalk artists, this year, The Vista Chamber of Commerce is inviting amateur artists, local community groups as well as families and individual to participant in the festivities and help transform the sidewalks of downtown Vista into colorful works of art. It's a great opportunity to create and express yourself.  


Make sure to stop by the Easy-Turf Booth on Broadway. The booth is located right behind the T-Mobile Main Stage. This is where all the contests are held. Easy-Turf will be holding a putting competition that is free and open to the public all day long. You could compete for a chance to win $10,000! Contests range from cooking contests to awarding the best strawberry themed costumes.


There will be some great live music being played during the festival. The Strawberry Jam Concert will feature some great local and national music acts and the live music adds to the already fun and exciting atmosphere of the festival.


The Vista Strawberry Run is back this year. We have three races, a challenging 10K for the die hards, a 5K, a one mile run for kids and we even have a ¼ mile Tots Trot. The 5K and 10K are timed events, with cash prizes to be awarded for the top three male and female runners independently. Each participant will receive a t-shirt, a custom medal and the opportunity to eat some fresh fruit at the finish line.


With over 300 vendors, craft beers from local breweries, carnival rides, live entertainment and more, you won’t want to miss this year’s celebration of the ‘berry!


RAL: Why should people come?

AM: Come Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend with Berry and the Gang! Vista is a beautiful and friendly city, that is ideal for a fun family getaway. We hope you and your families will continue to make the Vista Strawberry Festival a family tradition.

For more information about the Vista Strawberry Festival, please visit their website.