Oxnard, Calif.–Out of 1,076 entries from kids in kindergarten through sixth grade throughout Ventura County, the creative strawberry design by 10-year-old Alan Sanchez from McKinna Elementary School in Oxnard was selected as the grand prizewinner of the 36th Annual California Strawberry Festival’s Youth Art Design Contest.
Festival representatives threw a surprise strawberry cupcake party and award presentation April 24 with Sanchez’s after-school class joining in and his parents looking on. Sanchez received a $100 gift certificate, a t-shirt with his design and a framed presentation of his artwork, which will be displayed at the California Strawberry Festival May 18 and 19.
Sanchez’s colorful creation features three giant strawberries in a field surrounded by mountains and a bright sun.
Fernando Ayala is Sanchez’s after-school art leader. “I’ve noticed that Alan takes his time to decide on what images to use to make his artwork stand out,” says Ayala. “He’s not afraid to ask questions he’s always thinking outside the box.”
The over 1,000 students who entered artwork in the contest will each receive a free festival ticket as an appreciation for their efforts.
“The Youth Art Design Contest is a fun way to motivate kids to use their imagination as well as take pride in our agricultural roots,” says Festival Chairperson Mike Thompson. “The contest is a success because of Ventura County teachers. We always receive very creative and artistic entries.”
Official sponsors for this year’s festival include Oxnard Convention and Visitors Bureau, Southern California Acura Dealers, Stella Rosa Wines, Stella Artois and KTLA.
Oxnard is located just 60 miles north of Los Angeles and 30 miles south of Santa Barbara. The California Strawberry Festival free Park & Ride “Strawberry Express” shuttles from multiple convenient locations off the 101 freeway make getting there a breeze. Amtrak California offers a special family discount (shuttles meet the trains). Parking is also available on site for $10. General admission is $12, seniors 62 and over and active military are $8, and youth ages 5 through12 are $5. Kids 4 and under are free. The California Strawberry Festival toll free information line is 888 288-9242 or go to www.CAStrawberryFestival.org.
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