All things Strawberry, The Strawberry Festival 2016

So here in Buckhannon, West Virginia, every May we have a week-long festival dedicated to the Strawberry. At one time Strawberries in West Virginia were a large cash crop and it was great way to celebrate the spring. Now 75 years later…. there are less homegrown strawberries but the festival is larger than ever. This year Christopher was even part of three days of  the week-long festival events.

The spirit of the Strawberry Festival really found my family this year. Our excitement grew when Christopher became part of the Royal Court. He rode on the Strawberry Queen’s float with other 1st graders picked for this role from all the elementary schools in the county. He was also the King’s crown bearer for the coronation of the Queen. It was so much fun to see him in a tux being part of all the pageantry.

Christopher waiting backstage for the Coronation 75th Strawberry Queen 2016

Christopher waiting backstage for the Coronation 75th Strawberry Queen 2016

The week starts with the Coronation ceremony practice, with lots of photos and trips to the stage trying to get everything timed right before the afternoon Coronation event. Then there are 6 days of parades, live music events, strawberry food sales and outdoor activities like a 5k run and a canoe race down a local river.

The Strawberry Court waiting on the Queen to arrive

The Strawberry Court waiting on the Queen to arrive. Christopher is holding king’s crown 4th little boy to the left.

Strawberry Queen 2016

Strawberry Queen 2016

The following days are a blur,  4 parades, carnival rides, craft sales and lots of silly contest.

WVU's Mountaineer mascot takes time to walk in the parade

WVU’s Mountaineer Mascot takes time to walk in the parade

 

ROTC drill team passing Friendly Way during the Strawberry Festival

ROTC drill team passing Friendly Way during the Strawberry Festival

 

Christopher and friends riding the first of two floats for the Strawberry festival 2016

Christopher and friends riding the first of two floats for the Strawberry festival 2016

 

Mules pulling a mini pony express stagecoach

Mules pulling a mini pony express stagecoach

 

Sea of people at the Strawberry Festival Carnival 32016

Sea of people at the Strawberry Festival Carnival 2016

 

Chocolate drizzle funnel cake at the Strawberry Festival 2016

Chocolate drizzle funnel cake at the Strawberry Festival 2016

We ate lots of fair food, ice cream and strawberries over the course of the week and had a great time until my surgery interrupted the schedule of events. I was lucky to get to spend both nights watching Christopher pass by on his float ( Thursday and Saturday). I could only watch about an hour of the Grand Feature Parade,on Saturday before getting too tired from the surgery the day before.

As we headed home Thursday night ( the first of the parade nights). Tom and I both noticed that a 10 pm the carnival was still going strong and families walked the streets with stuffed toys and corn dogs on sticks. Friends stood in groups all along main street talking.Old men stood next to their classic cars in front of mains street restaurants talking while and wives eat ice cream in the front seat with the top down. Something seemed different  to me that night, it was like our childhood was happening all over again. It was the best feeling I have had in years. My  young son had somehow reminded me of what it was like to feel young again. We eat fair food and heard live music and walked back to the car long after dark under the street lamps. It was good to be part of the Strawberry Festival again!

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Categories: Buckhannon West Virginia, carnival, Country life, Fairs and Festivals, family fun, Strawberry Festival, Upshur County West Virginia, West Virginia | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “All things Strawberry, The Strawberry Festival 2016

  1. Looks like so much fun!

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  2. Thanks for sharing the parade experience. It’s always good to see the Mountaineer !

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sandy

    That’s it, I must have a funnel cake this summer. It’s worth the calories.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Paul Loar

    All well and good. Now how about a similar feature (maybe next May?) concerning the remembrance of the Ultimate Service given to us by our military so that we could stage frivolous street parties like the Strawberry Festival? I am speaking about Memorial Day in Grafton. BTW, Do you know that 99.9 % of the festival strawberries are imported from California and Mexico. One would be hard-pressed to find a locally grown strawberry in Upshur County in this day and age. My favorite vendor at the Strawberry Festival is the vintner from Summersville. His Ginseng wine is special. I forgot the name of his winery( need more Ginseng?) but I have partaken therefrom multiple times. Next year will mark the 150th Memorial day parade in Grafton…..the longest enduring Memorial Day Parade on record! Grafton is VERY historic and worthy of your efforts. If I have piqued any interest, you might consider calling the City Clerk, Larry Richman at 304 265 1412 ext 15 for in-depth information re: Memorial Day and Mother’s Day. Larry is a storehouse of facts re: both….as well as anything else Grafton. Paul Loar

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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    • hello Paul thanks for sending this note…. as I am not a professional writer ( no one pays me to travel), I do the best I can about covering what events I can make it to. I work full time and have a family so we travel to where ever and see what ever events we can fit in.
      Also as a Wife, Daughter, and Sister of servicemen , I understand more then most about the importance of Memorial Day and Hope to some day make it to Grafton’s celebrations. As of today I am headed to Thomas June 7th and then Marlington in July for work related meetings and will be writing about them. We are also headed to Cass State Park in Sept. So who knows when or where you will find me but at some point I am sure to head your way… thanks again for reading. Jolynn

      Like

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