HAYWARD -- The humble zucchini takes center stage this weekend at the city's 31st annual festival in its honor.

The Zucchini Festival will have awards for the most unusual shape, the heaviest and the squash with the best color variation. Entries are due by 11 a.m. Sunday at the growing booth at the festival.

A zucchini cook-off and cooking demonstrations will take place at the two-day festival. Several food booths will offer zucchini in a variety of dishes, fritters, quiche, cake, bread, sausage, sandwiches, relish and ice cream.

The festival will have live music, arts and crafts, vendor booths and a Kids Town with rides, games, prizes and face painting.

Admission is $8 general; $4 for disabled individuals, those age 55 and over and children ages 6 to 12; and free for those age 5 and younger. Tickets may be purchased at the gate or in advance at The Cobblers, 22443 Foothill Blvd.

Funds from the festival, sponsored by South Hayward Lions Club, are given to local nonprofit groups. The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Kennedy Park, 19501 Hesperian Blvd.