SANTA MARIA, Calif. -

The Santa Maria valley annual strawberry festival opened on Friday.

The festival attracts around 60,000 people throughout its three days.

Margie Vincent, a Santa Maria resident, said, “It shows the product, and it's delicious.”

Vincent and her friends come every year. Dolores Rosa, Vincent’s friend, said “It’s advertising all our strawberries and all the hard work that goes into it, and of course strawberries are delicious.”

The strawberry festival is a celebration of the beginning of the strawberry season and the importance of the strawberry industry to Santa Maria’s local economy.

Yvonne Biely, Santa Maria Fairpark public relations director, said,  “We have a cooking show that’s based on cooking with strawberries, we have a pie eating- contest, and we have local strawberry growers here selling berries throughout the three days. It’s their product, it’s our product, it's our Central Coast.”

The festival ends on Sunday.

27th Annual Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival