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The Glorious Lemons of Goleta

California's tartest to-do is but a few flavorful weeks away.

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    The Glorious Lemons of Goleta
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    The start of fall may summon ciders to mind, but another fruit takes centerstage for one pie-yummy, treat-terrific weekend. (Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

    TART TAKEOVER: Do we often describe a red object as "strawberry"? Not frequently, no, which is rather too bad. Likewise, blue items aren't called "blueberry," though, yes, orange things tend to be "orange" in our minds, like, always. But there's another citrus that is both a fruit and a feel, a state of mind and a popular hue. It's lemon, and it has transcended any less-than-worthy connotations over time to become an edible that's associated with sunshine, sprightly sips, tart desserts, and a lovely, lemony outlook. And, yes, yellow paint often rocks a "lemon" designation at the hardware store, and yellow couches show up in all shades of lemon-a-tude. Which leads in lemon-tastic fashion to this observation: Of course the Golden State, a lemon-large location, has to have a primo party devoted to this squelchy superstar. If you love lemons, you know that...

    GOLETA IS THE PLACE, and the California Lemon Festival has a nice knack for showing up right around the early part of autumn. As it shall again, in 2018: Sept. 29 and 30 are the dates, Girsh Park in Goleta is the sour-mazing spot, and several to-dos will orbit the eating part of the affair, with a classic car show serving as one highlight. Will there be arts and crafts for the browsing? It wouldn't be a food-oriented, early-fall fun time without such an activity. And, yes, a pie-eating contest, too, will be on the schedule. A lemon launch, a lemon run, and a lemon dinner — that takes place a couple of weeks ahead of the fest, do note — are other fruit-fabulous doings to consider.

    AND CONSIDER THIS: That whole beautiful, grub-great area puts on some of its foodie favorites during the fall, with other festivals and special events popping up. So check out the whole supping Santa Barbara scene for September, October, and into November, mmm.