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For many years the Lemon Festival has been the biggest celebration in the Goleta Valley.  Sumptuous lemon food, fantastic family atmosphere, and cornucopia of entertainment and activities have made this event the most anticipated in the Valley.

Movies

The festival has expanded to include the Goleta Fall Classic Car, Motorcycle and Street Rod Show, and the Girls Inc. 5K Run. As always, the Lemon Festival will feature the most extensive 'Safety Street' in the county, our wildly-popular Pie-Eating Contests, arts and crafts vendors, and more food than you can shake a lemon-scented stick at. A petting zoo and amusement park rides just add to the many things that make the California Lemon Festival fun for the whole family.

Children's Activities

  • Swing, race & train rides
  • Petting zoo & pony ride
  • Face painting
  • Climbing rock wall
  • Fast pitch
  • Miniature golf
  • Moon bounce
  • Fire engine slide

History of Lemon Harvesting in Goleta Valley

The "Famous Santa Barbara County Lemons" of the Goleta Valley made their debut in the 1890’s when Sherman Stow, builder of the historic Stow House, planted 600 acres of lemon trees on his ranch. Due to the year-round springtime temperatures and moderate rainfall that characterize the climate of the Goleta Valley the lemon orchard flourished, contributing to the valley’s beauty as well as its economy. Stow generously shared seedlings from his trees with owners of neighboring ranches, and colorful lemon orchards soon decorated the coast.

In the 1930’s, the delicious citrus was in high demand. Goleta’s Lemons brought premium prices on the market, and although the country was in the throes of the Great Depression, 2,500 acres of lemons were harvested and sold by the Goleta Lemon Association. By 1943 the Goleta Lemon Association was shipping 900 boxcar loads of their renowned lemons annually.

With the skyrocketing demand for real estate in the 50’s and 60’s agricultural land began to be converted into housing tracts. However, the prevalence of Goleta Lemons in the region’s landscape remained – showing up all over hillsides, in the landscaping of many homeowners, and in gardens throughout the Valley.

The Goleta Lemon remains one of the great icons of our region, and it is celebrated each year at the California Lemon Festival in Goleta.

Directions to the Lemon Festival at Girsh Park
 

Girsh Park is located north of Santa Barbara in the heart of Goleta, California.
  • Take the Storke Road exit off of the 101 Freeway
  • Head towards the ocean (away from the mountains) on Storke Road
  • Cross over Hollister Avenue
  • Pass McDonald's, The Home Depot and Fire Station 11 on your right, and
  • Turn right on Phelps Road, which is the first street past the fire station
  • The park is on your right.