Come Friday, volunteers at the 43rd Annual Pasadena Strawberry Festival will begin assembling one gigantic strawberry shortcake. To give you an idea of just how big, the 2014 cake was a little more than 2,000 square-feet and 21,500 pounds. And it was topped with more than a ton of strawberries, glaze and whipped cream.
The cake is one of the main attractions at the three-day festival, which runs from May 20 to May 22 at the Pasadena Convention Center & Fairgrounds. “It’s always a big hit,” said festival executive director Bert Muston. So is mud volleyball.
Aside from featuring strawberry shortcake, a BBQ cook-off and more than 300 vendors, the festival holds a mud volleyball tournament on Saturday where more than 160 teams compete for the title. Other attractions include a kid zone, carnival, helicopter rides and musical acts, including Cameran Nelson, Aaron Watson, Hudson Moore and Eric Paslay.
“It’s three fun-filled days for families to enjoy each other, have a great time, make memories, enjoy the festival and help us send kids to school,” said Muston. Proceeds of the festival fund scholarships for area high school students.
Those looking for strawberries can buy them at the festival by the flat, half-flat or quart. But don’t expect to pick your own strawberries or to buy some picked nearby. While the festival started in 1974 to celebrate Pasadena’s history as “Strawberry Capital of the World," little remains of the strawberry fields that were once found in the area so the strawberries come from a produce company.
If you go, don’t miss the unveiling of the strawberry shortcake at the opening ceremony on May 20 at 5 p.m. Festivalgoers can get a generous slice for $3. Sheet pans are also available. Don’t delay, though, there will be a line and you never know when the cake will run out.
Tickets to the Pasadena Strawberry Festival are $15 for adults, $5 for children 5-12 and senior citizens, and free for children 0-4.