Santa Maria Valley strawberries are so renowned for their juicy, flavorful character that they are distributed both nationally and internationally, and occupy the region’s top spot for moneymaking crops. The region’s uniquely moderate coastal climate is a perfect match for this fragile berry, with warm winters and cool summers that support an extended growing season of up to 10 months per year.

That said, it’s only natural that strawberry pie or shortcake is the traditional dessert served with Santa Maria Style Barbecue. The tangy, sweet berries seem to pair beautifully with the salty, smoky tones in the barbecued meat.

These flavors will now once again be celebrated on April 24 – 26 at Santa Maria Valley’s 28th Annual Santa Maria Strawberry Festival–a weekend of music, strawberry varietal tasting, strawberry desserts, cooking demonstrations, educational exhibits and old-fashioned carnival entertainment. This ultimate berry bash is held at the Santa Maria Fairpark.

For festival information please visit