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Wahoo’s brothers to share grand marshal role at the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival

A sheet cake from a past Garden Grove Strawberry Festival.
A sheet cake from a past Garden Grove Strawberry Festival.
(Courtesy of Garden Grove Strawberry Festival)
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Wing Lam is one chief executive officer you won’t find in the office very often. It isn’t uncommon to see him grilling fish tacos for charity events with his organization California Love Drop. The co-founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco prefers to be out in the community helping where he can, which is how he became the grand marshal of this year’s Garden Grove Strawberry Festival Parade.

“I love strawberries, and I always help out behind the scenes,” Lam said of the festival. “Somewhere in this helping out they asked me and my brothers to be the marshals.”

Lam will be joined by his brothers and Wahoo’s co-founders Ed Lee and Mingo Lee in leading the parade procession as Celebrity Grand Marshals.

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The Garden Grove Strawberry Festival takes place this year over Memorial Day weekend, May 24 through 27, with the theme “Celebrating Our Hometown.” The parade of floats, bands, equestrians and cartoon characters will hit the streets at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 25, following the parade route down Chapman Avenue to Euclid Avenue.

“The Garden Grove Strawberry Festival Assn.’s dedication to supporting the community aligns with Wing, Ed and Mingo’s philanthropic efforts,” said Mark Mahoney, festival association president. “We are excited to welcome the Wahoo’s brothers as participants in this year’s festival. Their presence is a valuable and impactful contribution to our community in celebration of AAPI month.”

The annual strawberry cake cutting is a tradition dating back to the early Strawberry festivals.
The annual strawberry cake cutting is a tradition dating back to the early Strawberry festivals.
(Courtesy of Garden Grove Strawberry Festival)

The Strawberry Festival began in Garden Grove in 1958 when strawberries were farmed on both the east and west sides of the city. The Chamber of Commerce hosted the first festival, organized by Garden Grove resident and public relations professor Tom Hoxie. The following year the city’s residents formed the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival Assn., a nonprofit that still runs the festival to this day. The event benefits local organizations, with other Garden Grove nonprofits offered the space to sell food and keep 100% of their profits.

The festival will kick off with an opening ceremony on Friday, May 24, at 6 p.m. at the Showmobile at the intersection of Main Street and Acacia Parkway. Attendees that evening can look forward to the annual strawberry cake cutting, a tradition dating back to the early festivals, with free strawberry shortcake served to all who attend. Free concerts are scheduled to follow from Aerosmith tribute band AeroRocks, Chris Cornell/Soundgarden tribute band Rusty Sunn and Def Leppard tribute band Hysteria at the Garden Amp on 12762 Main St.

On May 25, before the parade at 10 a.m., the Garden Grove Community Center will host a pancake breakfast at 8:30 a.m. open to the public for $15 per person. Free concerts and annual contests like the Redhead Roundup contest will continue throughout the festival weekend along with carnival rides and games at the Village Green at Euclid and Main streets.

The Garden Grove Strawberry Festival will feature carnival rides like the Kite Flyer, Tilt-a-Whirl and Scrambler.
(Courtesy of Garden Grove Strawberry Festival.)

Additionally, Lam will be on hand for a special cooking demo using strawberries.

“I always make salsa and fish tacos, but they said if you do a demo here, you have to do something with strawberries,” said Lam. “I said, OK, I will take out the tomatoes and put strawberries in the salsa. Pineapple, mango and strawberries are delicious.”

If strawberry salsa isn’t your thing, Lam said there will be plenty of other strawberry treats to indulge in.

“I know I am going to eat a lot of funnel cake with strawberries,” said Lam.

A full schedule of events and vendors can be found at strawberryfestival.org.

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