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Oxnard, Garden Grove Strawberry Festivals Cancel Their 2021 Events

OXNARD (CBSLA) — Two Southern California festivals celebrating the strawberry will both be canceled for a second straight year due to ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

With hospitals still struggling under an onslaught of COVID-19 patients, and the vaccine rollout grinding to a crawl due to dwindling supplies, spring and summer events are being postponed or outright canceled months in advance. The LA Marathon, typically held in March, has already been postponed into the fall.

Wendy Springer cleans board used for the strawberry tart toss contest held during the California Str
Wendy Springer cleans board used for the strawberry tart toss contest held during the California Strawberry Festival at College Park in Oxnard. She is in charge of the contest. Digital image shot on 05/18/2001 (Photo by Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The California Strawberry Festival, which is usually held in late May in Oxnard announced this weekend it has officially canceled the 2021 festival and plans to return in on May 14 and 15 in 2022. Officials said its primary concern was the health and safety of everyone involved with putting on one of the biggest events in Ventura County.

"The uncertainty regarding what the pandemic and state health guidelines will look like in May, as well as the status of widespread vaccine distribution, are also factors in the Festival board's decision," organizers said in an email to festival attendees.

Further south, the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival announced Wednesday it would also cancel this year's event and return on Memorial Day weekend in 2022.

"We are living in unprecedented times right now, and as a result of the continuing pandemic, our board has made the difficult decision to postpone both the 2020 Festival and 2021 Festival. This has never happened before in the history of the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival, which began back in 1958," Patrick "Pat" Catlin, president of the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival Association, said in a statement.

The festival's accompanying Strawberry Stop 5K will also be postponed to May 28, 2022.

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