This week is the 77th annual West Virginia Strawberry Festival in Buckhannon. If you are new in town or are a visitor for this week, you came to search out the strawberry and you will be pleased to know that strawberries are everywhere. Let us begin by seeing strawberry decorations all around town using this year’s theme of Stars, Stripes
There are more events featuring the strawberry at the Senior Center on Kanawha Street. The Camera Club will once again feature many wonderful pictures as well as the Sr. Center Painters with their paintings. Some are for sale and some are just featured for your enjoyment. These are available to view on Wednesday. and Thurs. from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 –11 a.m. On Friday, the seniors will be capping strawberries for the championship and the Senior Lord and Lady will be crowned following the cap off.
The Strawberry Food Court will open on Spring Street on Tuesday at 5 p.m. and will be open on Weds., Thurs., Fri. and Sat. There will be all kinds of unique foods and various foods featuring the strawberry as well as music to listen too while you enjoy your food.
I have been told that strawberries will be for sale downtown. For the special times, contact the festival office at 304-472-9036 or stop in the office across from the courthouse. Speaking of the Courthouse the Sweetest Strawberry Contest will be held on Friday at 3 p.m. with six girls and six boys aged 12 who will judge the sweetest strawberry for 2018. Dr. Joseph Reed will be on hand to make sure the 12-year-old judges answer questions about the growing of strawberries and to see which grower has the sweetest strawberry. It is a known fact that at age 12, the taste buds are best to taste the sweetness and the tartness of the strawberry. Strawberry growers from all over the state will bring strawberries for auction at the Courthouse Plaza beginning at 4 p.m. The CEO Clubs will auction off their strawberry theme baskets which are always unique. The basket with the best use of the festival theme Stars Stripes and Strawberries will be chosen as the winning basket.
You will want to visit our restaurants to find many strawberry foods and desserts to enjoy. Many local organizations will have fundraisers featuring strawberries. Most of these organizations will be within walking distance from downtown. The Presbyterian Church across from the Courthouse will feature special items for sale. The 4-H clubs will be selling sandwiches and strawberry
The Strawberry Festival began in 1936 as a one-day festival with the idea from Dr. Judson from WVWC. Dr. Judson researched and found that this area had the best climate and soil to grow strawberries. He brought this information to the Buckhannon Lions Club and suggested that a celebration of the strawberry should be highlighted to showcase the strawberry and all of the growers who planted, cultivated and sold strawberries in the area. The Lions Club liked the idea and organized the first festival in 1936 as a one - day event. The festival was titled the Central Strawberry Festival until it became a state festival. The name was changed to the West Virginia Strawberry Festival in 1959. The WVSF has grown with events featured for the entire family. This 77th year of celebration begins on May 12 and ends on May 20 with entertainment for the entire family of all ages. It is a celebration of the strawberry, a homecoming, entertainment, parades with groups from all over the United States and beyond and much more. The festival is an “Exciting Family Tradition” for everyone who attends. We hope you enjoy all the many choices of parades, events and the delicious strawberry foods you will find while you visit the 77th West Virginia Strawberry Festival.
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