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A strawberry festival is a local community event organized in areas where this fruit is grown, most often to celebrate the start or height of its harvest season. Most festivals take place in the spring, and fresh strawberries as well as baked goods and exotic foods featuring the berry play a central role in festivities. Various traditional festival activities are common, including carnival rides and games, live entertainment, and strawberry-themed activities including parades, crafts, and contests. The event is largely sponsored by local, regional, and sometimes national businesses, organizations, and groups, and admission prices range, depending on the festival.
Strawberry season spans the spring months. Warm weather and abundant harvests of the ripe fruit allow strawberry-growing communities the opportunity to share this local crop with one another and surrounding communities. A strawberry festival may take place in the country, or in the middle of a city or town.
Fresh fruit, baked goods, and food are the centerpiece of any strawberry festival, featuring build-your-own shortcake tents, beer, and desserts, as well as exotic strawberry-infused foods and fresh fruit by the basket or flat. Produce typically comes from local or regional farms, especially in places where strawberries are widely grown, like California. Various awards may be given at a strawberry festival for exceptionally tasty fruit or creative food items made from the fruit.
A strawberry festival typically involves a variety of activities for its guests. Many have carnival rides and games like a traditional fair or bazaar. Live entertainment is also common, and most involves local bands, choirs, and talent from various schools, organizations, and groups.
Celebrations usually have a number of strawberry-themed events as well. Strawberry tasting, pie-eating contests, and even beauty pageants may be on a community's activity list. Strawberry crafts and various games for younger children are typically offered. Parades featuring community, organization, and company-decorated floats make up one of the key events at some festivals. A royal court may be crowned, who typically headline the festival's main parade or festivities.
Strawberry festivals are commonly sponsored by local, regional, and perhaps national companies, organizations, and agencies. Vendors set up booths where visitors can browse goods or services or receive free samples. Local artisans may also sell jewelry, clothing, and other goods, and vendors may sell fresh produce other than strawberries. Admission may be free with ride tickets costing extra, or the festival may charge a general price. Produce and vendor goods typically have additional costs, though entertainments and certain activities may be included, depending on the festival.
Any kind of food festival is usually pretty good, and is always a good way to check out the local crafts vendors, since they usually come out en masse to something like that.
There's a strawberry festival every spring in my neck of the woods, and my favorite thing they have is the fresh strawberry topping for the funnel cakes. That's the only time of the year I get them and they are delicious! The fresh strawberries sort of fool you into thinking you might be eating something vaguely healthy. But they taste great on a hot funnel cake. And they smell wonderful.
There's a huge strawberry festival every year in South Alabama. I'd love to go one year. It's supposed to be a great event. I know they have every strawberry food known to humankind, but they also have arts and crafts and live music. Some fairly big acts have played down there, and it's a really big shot in the arm economically for the area.
I really do live too far away to make a trip feasible just for that, but if I'm down at the beach at the same time, it would be worth stopping by, just to see what all they have.