Monterey County is a large producer of a very wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Not to be left out of this list of produce, is the strawberry. The entire state of California produces 88% of the frozen and fresh strawberries consumed in the United Stated. The strawberry industry is worth over US$330 million in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. With all this in mind, it should come as no surprise that every summer the city of Watsonville, north of Monterey, hosts the Monterey Bay Strawberry Festival.
We drove up to Watsonville on a sunny Saturday afternoon to check out this festival. After having experienced the Gilroy Garlic Festival and the Castroville Artichoke Festival, we were quite excited about our day with the Strawberries. It was a nice festival, but folks around Monterey know how to throw a fest, and this left a bit to be desired. There was plenty of food, but very little of it was strawberry-derived. The big draw at this festival were the rides, which most festivals in the area don't provide. Live music was performed, but we've been spoiled by the multiple stages the other festivals offered.
If you happen to be in town on the weekend of the Strawberry Festival and have some time to burn, head on up to Watsonville. All parking is off-site and they bus you in, so traffic isn't an issue. Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for kids over 3 (under 3 is free).