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Artifacts: Strawberries and more! 

Where can you find belly dancing, camel rides, rock climbing, something called Walking Water Bubble Pools (I have no idea), and strawberry-flavored everything, all in one place?
The 30th annual Arroyo Grande Strawberry Festival, the largest free festival in SLO County, rolls into town Memorial Day weekend, May 25 and 26. Featuring hundreds of art, craft, and display booths, three carnival areas, the Strawberry Stampede (what?), and live performances on 11 stages, the event is practically bursting at the seams with fun times. Oh yeah, and strawberries.
Musically, the festival offers live shows by regional acts like the Shival Experience, the Crisptones, the Usual Suspects, the RKdians, Highway 1, the Moon Pie Band, and Bubba Ramey. This year’s festival will focus on “musically diverse acts fronted by captivating female leaders from throughout Southern California,” press materials read. “Laurie Morvan is bringing her red hot blues rock band up from the LA area. Sean Wiggins fronts her group lOne gOat from Van Nuys, which plays pop, rock and blues. L.A. pop singer-songwriters Ashley Rezvani and Taylor Ogburn will be featured at the Conrad’s Porch stage along with vocalist Shakeh and her cellist Brian Asher playing eclectic adult contemporary music.”
Ballooney the Clown and the Bob and Gypsy Parrot Show will delight youngsters, as will juggling, unicycle, and ladder act Something Ridiculous. A Strawberry Blonde Contest takes place Saturday morning, and performers from the Pismo Beach Youth Theater, Youth Vocal Ensemble and Children’s Chorus, dancers from the Studio of Performing Arts, and more will keep visitors entertained on the Rabobank Family Stage. At the East End Dance Lawn, check out Traditional Belly Dance troupe Benat Serat, followed by the Polynesian dance group Pacific Legends.
It’s all going down Saturday, May 25, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, May 26, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit, call 473-2250, or visit the festival at
The Strawberry Festival is the primary fundraiser for the Arroyo Grande Village Improvement Association. ∆

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