Festival held to support veterans

Paloma Murillo preapes organic strawberry banana margaritas at the Strawberry Tequila Festival last year at Central Park. Samie Gebers/The Signal
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Hundreds of people waited in line at Central Park on Saturday to enter the Tequila Strawberry Festival to spend times with friends and enjoy a drink.

“The (3,000) online tickets sold out,” said Frank Ruvalcaba, organizer of the event.

While Ruvalcaba organized the event for people to have a good time, proceeds will go towards assisting veterans.

“There are still sons and daughters that are still serving,” Ruvalcaba said.

Ruvalcaba was inspired to create the Welcome Home Soldier Foundation by his son, a veteran who almost didn’t make it home from Afghanistan.

Tarah Mae enjoys a margarita at the Strawberry Tequila Festival held at Central Park on Saturday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

“He almost didn’t come home, and one of his friends didn’t make it home,” Ruvalcaba said. “It touched me.”

That is when Ruvalcaba decided to make a difference and founded the non-profit with his wife. The foundation seeks to buy distressed hotels and turn them into transitional living spaces for homeless veterans.

And that is where events like the Strawberry Technilla Festival comes in to play.

“All of the net proceeds from these events will go back to the foundation,” Ruvalcaba said.

The event featured various clothing, food and merchandise vendors as well as a live band, alcoholic drinks and of course, tequila and strawberries.

“I love tequila and strawberries, and I love supporting the troops,” said Tarah Mae, a Lancaster resident who took the trip down to Santa Clarita for the festival.

“Remembering to think about our troops is important.”

Claudia Flores prepares margaritas at the Strawberry Tequila Festival at Central Park on Saturday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

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