Photo exhibits 1 through 50: Proof that strawberries are a good excuse for music, dance, and fun.
Steppin' Out Hot Licks and Big Color

Arroyo Grande Strawberry Festival 2011

28 - MAY - 2011

Despite ongoing construction in the Village of Arroyo Grande, the Strawberry Festival took place without a hitch. It was the usual drill of vendors, music, dance and fun. And wind.

The Sosa Sisters performed Saturday at "Branch Street Teen Plaza," which is actually the parking lot next to Klondike Pizza. The Sisters drew an enthusiastic crowd, and did particularly well with their covers of the Santana band. Some exposure to the likes of Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Benny Goodman bands could yield more swing down the road. Photos of the girls shown here are the ones that worked reasonably well despite truly impossible light.

The dancers are from the Coastal Dance and Music Academy and the Studio of Performing Arts. Light under the Rotary Bandstand is very nice, but the bandstand is open all around which generally results in bright, direct outdoor light behind the dancers. That, and the brightest and whitest van on the planet parked next to the bandstand narrowed the best opportunities to a twenty degree angle of view. Still, good karma and the camera's motor drive secured a few nice photos of the performers.

Shival Experience is a central element of the Strawberry Festival. Excellent music and stage presence, the band is first-tier. Because of nearby construction, the band faced East this year and the light was more manageable because of it. These cats should be playing the Rose Bowl. Instead, they played the village gazebo, we didn't have to pay eighty bucks a piece, and some nice photographs came of the day in addition to the excellent music.

Ballooney the Clown held forth at Heritage Square Park. His activities entertained kids and adults. Ballooney had all the kids doing push-ups for fun! His hula-hoop fest is excellent for photos of smiling kids enjoying simple play and hamming it up. Somehow, in the face of all the chaos and hard outdoor light, the photographs preserved the fun.

Also at Heritage Square Park were the bounce houses and inflatable slides. You never know who is coming down the slide next or how expressive the kids will be, but action is usually fast and happy. A couple of the big slide smiles are included in the set of images below.