Lompoc’s annual SpringFest celebration is set to once again take over Ryon Park this weekend, as organizers hope to provide a fun respite for what could be a busy week for many local families.
The event, now in its 33rd year, will kick off at 11 a.m. Friday, April 19, and continue through Sunday, April 21. It is always held on the third weekend in April, but this year that timeline happened to coincide with Lompoc Unified School District’s spring break, as well as Easter Sunday.
While it is unknown how or if those other occasions will affect the SpringFest attendance, event chairperson Rose Isaac said she’s hopeful that community members — particularly those with children — will make it over to Ryon Park to partake in the festivities.
“We’re just looking forward to having three days of fun in the park and families getting together and enjoying,” she said. “There are so many events on the Central Coast that are geared for adults and not a lot just geared for families, and this one is a family event.”
The event, which will allow free entry into the park, will feature many of the mainstays that attendees have come to expect — such as a carnival, live music and several vendor booths with various foods, artwork and crafts — but there will also be some new additions.
One of the new features this year will be an Easter Egg Hunt planned for 11:30 a.m. Sunday. That hunt will be separate from the city’s annual Easter Egg Hunt, which will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at River Park.
Isaac said the timing of Sunday’s hunt at Ryon Park was intentionally set “so people can go to church first and then go to the park.”
Other events this weekend will include a car/motorcycle show on Saturday, a community mural that will be painted throughout the day by kids and adults on Saturday, an arm-wrestling competition beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday and a “Bartender Olympics” race at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Local bartenders and others are invited to participate in the "Olympics," in which entrants will be timed while they attempt to navigate an obstacle course while carrying pitchers of water.
While admission to the park will be free, there are charges for the amusement rides in the carnival and for the various items offered by vendors.
The park will open at 11 a.m. each day, with festivities continuing until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and concluding at 8 p.m. Sunday. The carnival will be open from 2:30 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Among the expected offerings at the food booths, which will begin operation at 11 a.m. each day, are jambalaya, mini donuts, hamburgers, french fries, stuffed chicken wings with fried rice, egg rolls, spring rolls, strawberry shortcakes, strawberry parfaits, Hawaiian shaved ice, kettle corn, Mexican hot dogs, tacos, burritos, cotton candy, corn dogs, barbecue dinners, specialty fries, nachos, frozen yogurt and ice cream.
The festival is the first of the year in Lompoc, and one of the first this year on the Central Coast. It is put on by the Lompoc Valley Festival Association, which also organizes the annual Lompoc Flower Festival, which will be held this year from June 26 through June 30 at Ryon Park.
For more information on SpringFest, visit www.lompocvalleyfestivals.com/springfest.
Isaac said she had a simple message for anyone considering attending: “It’s a fun event geared for families, so come on down and have a fun time.”