Santa Paula Times

Time to harvest fun at weekend’s 43rd Annual Kiwanis Citrus Festival

July 14, 2010
Santa Paula News

Just as growers in the “Citrus Capital of the World” know when it’s time to harvest, the Kiwanis Club knows when it’s time to celebrate all that is harvested in Santa Paula.

And this weekend visitors from throughout Southern California will head to Santa Paula’s Harding Park to enjoy the bounty of the Kiwanis Club’s annual harvest of fun and entertainment at the 43 Annual Citrus Festival.

The festival - this year themed “The World is a Rainbow of Citrus” - starts at 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Friday, and runs noon through 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Saturday is also the 43rd Annual Kiwanis Citrus Festival Parade, held 10 a.m. on East Main Street.

With its array of entertainment and activities including the carnival that features fun rides for the whole family, people driving by on Highway 126 think it’s the county fair, said Festival Chairman Bill Grant. “Really, I’ve had people tell me when they see our festival from the freeway, especially at night when the venue and rides are all lit up, they think it’s the county fair,” a good comparison, Grant said, as both draw thousands of entertainment seekers.

Although the festival is on a smaller scale, Grant noted, “It has the feel of the county fair” with around the clock family friendly entertainment, plenty of fun activities and contests, lots of tasty food, and “the chance to have a great time at a very low cost,” only $5 for adults and $1 for children 10 and under. This year the festival will again have its famous Citrus and Avocado Pavilion, specialty foods, arts and crafts vendors, Family Fun Stage, and fruity fun and games.

The Citrus Festival features a spectacular lineup of headline entertainment, featuring DW3, House Arrest, ICE, The Company Band, Zapp, Nuestro, Venganza Del Norte and Banda Huracan Del Pacifico. Music lovers can also enjoy the headline entertainment and DJ music under the trees in the Bud Light Beer Lounge. The entertainment lineup is listed on the festival website,

The Citrus Festival Parade on Saturday, July 17, will feature classic cars, bands, community group and business floats, an antique fire engine, equestrians, bands, clowns, and anybody else that wants to share in the fun. The 10 a.m. parade fills Main Street between 7th and 11th streets.

The festival features plenty of the fruit that made Santa Paula famous and festival-goers of all ages celebrate by competing in Citrus Contests and entertainment at the Family Fun Stage on Saturday and Sunday. The Citrus Festival is packed with information and displays about the fruit of California, citrus ranching, and Santa Paula’s rich agricultural heritage.

Visitors can enjoy the festival’s fabulous food vendors and the wide selection of arts, crafts, and must-have merchandise through the weekend. The popular carnival rides run all three days as well (5 to 11 p.m. on Friday and noon to 11:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday).

Daily admission to the Citrus Festival is $5 for adults and $2 for children (10 and under). Admission includes all of the daily live music and entertainment.

Tickets for the carnival rides are sold separately at the carnival entrance, or can be purchased in advance at Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce office on 10th Street or El Brillante Market on Main Street in Santa Paula.  Cost for advance carnival tickets are $12 for 20 tickets or $20 for a wristband that can only be used Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. These can be purchased through Friday, July 16th.

Shuttle hours are Friday, 5 p.m. to midnight, Saturday noon to midnight, and Sunday noon to midnight. Parking is limited in the Harding Park area, especially as a portion of East Harvard will be closed festival weekend. The shuttle will stop at City Hall (970 E. Ventura St.), the historic Depot (corner of Santa Barbara and 10th streets), Glen City Elementary School (corner of Main Street and Steckel Drive), and Teague Park (Harvard Boulevard and Steckel Drive). Public parking is available at all shuttle stop locations.

The Kiwanis Club of Santa Paula is an organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. The proceeds from the Citrus Festival support many youth organizations, activities and programs in Santa Paula.

All of the attractions and details can be found on the Festival website,