Oxnard officials hope this year to finally take the red out of the city's annual California Strawberry Festival.
The Oxnard City Council approved a festival budget Tuesday that, if successful, would for the first time put the two-day spring event in the black by charging admission. Admission will be $3 for adults and $1 for children and seniors.
Festival organizers had tried to break even last year by charging admission, but a property owner objected to putting a fence around the festival site. Eventually, the city had to foot a $55,000 overrun stemming from lost admission revenues.
This year, organizers plan to move the festival a quarter of a mile north of its traditional Channel Islands Harbor location to a site that could be fenced, said festival finance chairwoman Sue Chadwick. In its 5-year history, the festival has always operated at an expense to the city--mostly in staff time--although organizers point out that it is responsible for an estimated $875,000 infusion into the local economy.