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When life gives you lemons, head to Goleta's Lemon Festival | Julia McHugh

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This weekend in Santa Barbara is jammed with events. The Lemon Festival and Fall Classic Car Show (actually in Goleta), Planned Parenthood’s annual Book Sale and the Quilters Guild’s Harvest of Colors Show (both at Earl Warren Showgrounds), and an innovative staging of “Romeo and Juliet” by the intriguingly titled Naked Shakes company.

Zesty, Lemon-y Entertainment

The Goleta Lemon Festival is back. Goleta’s biggest annual celebration harkens back to when lemons were a big cash crop in the area. Few orchards remain, but the festival lives on with free tart and tangy family entertainment Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Girsh Park. Admission and parking are free.

Not only is there lemon-inspired food and drink, but there’s lemony accessories, hats, and souvenirs for sale, plus arts and crafts from dozens of vendors. Live music is nonstop both days, with dance favorites Area 51 hitting the stage at 5 p.m. on Saturday. An extremely entertaining pie-eating contest is at noon both days.

Purchase an activity wristband ($35) for all-day access to over a dozen carnival rides including inflatable obstacle course, rock wall, laser tag, and more. Kids love Safety Street, where they can meet members of local law enforcement and see their state-of-the-art vehicles up close.

On Saturday only from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Goleta Fall Classic Car Show, also held in Girsh Park, is a must-see for any auto-lover. In addition to “best of show,” there are special for “Bitchin’ Paint” and Best Interior, among others, and judging for trucks and pickups too. (

Big Book Sale

Bibliophiles and bookworms should be in bliss – this is the final weekend of Planned Parenthood’s annual 11-day Book Sale at Earl Warren Fairgrounds.

There are 100,000 books with table after table groaning under the weight of the written word. It is extremely well organized with new titles added daily. Puzzles, games, CDs, DVDs, and vinyl are also available. Hours are Friday from noon to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Everything is 50% off on Sunday. Admission and parking are free. Proceeds benefit services in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties.

While at the Fairgrounds…

The Coastal Quilters Guild brings back their biannual Harvest of Colors Quilt Show, held in the Fairgrounds’ Warren Hall on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A weekend pass is only $12 to view more than 200 traditional and modern quilts stitched by Guild members. Fiber art pieces are also on view. “Kids Can Quilt” is the featured exhibition with works by young quilters eight to 18. Bring your budding quilter -- kids aged 12 and under are admitted to the show for free. (

Naked 'Romeo'

The Naked Shakes company at UCSB’s Theatre Department relies on the audience’s imaginations during their performances, which take place on a bare stage, with actors clad in simple costumes.

Shakespeare’s words and the actors, under the direction of Erwin Appel, bring the plays to life. It’s an exhilarating theatrical experience. See “Romeo and Juliet” at UCSB’s Studio Theater on Friday at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and next Wednesday through Saturday. Tickets are $19, at the door. Park in Lot 22 (don’t forget to pay at a parking kiosk). More information at





Julia McHugh can be reached at Her column about Santa Barbara events and activities runs every other Saturday.


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