Ventura County

35th annual California Strawberry Festival unveils 2018 poster

California Strawberry Festival poster unveiled in Oxnard

OXNARD, Calif. - The California Strawberry Festival turns 35 in May and to keep it on the minds of festival fans there are a number of events leading up to the weekend celebration of all things strawberry.

Organizers unveiled the award-winning poster at Yolanda's Mexican Cafe in Oxnard's Channel Islands Harbor on Tuesday.

Many people collect and frame the posters.

Natasha Aitouganov's artwork was chosen out of almost 60 entries.

She said she is still in shock by the win and her $2,000 prize money.

"I don't know if I'm going to get over it ever, honestly, " said Aitouganov.

She grew up in Belarus and now calls Los Angeles home.

"I love that I live in a place where there are a lot of them. It has been my favorite dessert since I was a little girl, my grandmother did it for me with a little bit of sour cream and sugar, so, it was kind of like a tradition you have one plate with sugar, one plate with strawberries, one plate with sour cream," said Aitouganov.

The poster shows a single strawberry with pen, ink, and watercolor.

Festival board chair Mike Thompson said he wants people to know that the festival is about giving back to nonprofits and the children of agriculture workers through scholarships.

"We work to support graduating seniors form parents who work in the agriculture industry and we are real proud to support that every single year, it's great and if you look back at our history we have supplied the opportunity for nonprofits to earn over $4.5 million that we have been able to track," said Thompson.

The California Strawberry Festival will be held at Strawberry Meadows near Oxnard College on May 19, and 20th.

Lisa Carey of Lisa Carey PR passed the baton to a new organizer after decades behind the scenes.

This year Carey will be attending one of her children's college graduations that weekend, but she was a special guest at the poster unveiling on Tuesday.

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