BUCKHANNON — Local students, all Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School sixth graders, gathered at the Upshur County Courthouse Plaza to taste test strawberries with one lucky winner to hold the title of “Sweetest Berry.” The event occurred on Friday, May 20 at approximately 3 p.m. Locals and visitors, as well as West Virginia Strawberry Festival (WVSF) Royalty, joined the event and watched as four students tasted a variety of 16 entries of the contest. Students were also quizzed on Upshur County and WVSF history while they tabulated their votes on the fresh strawberries.
Dr. Joseph Reed emceed the competition and provided the quiz questions to the students. Reed also invited WVSF Royalty to speak about the festival and other topics. Royalty who spoke included 2022 WVSF King Franklin Bush Jr., Queen Kelsey Hill and Teen Queen Cadence Ringer. Bush Jr. discussed how math can be used in sports noting that calculations of angles, etc., can be used. Hill described how honored she is to be the 2022 WVSF Queen and discussed some festivals and events in her hometown of Ripley, W.Va. inviting Upshur County to come by sometime. Ringer noted the need for Buckhannon to have more activities for youth and asked the community to consider the positive effect this would have.
The four participants in the taste test often discussed their quiz answers with each other, as well as discussed the aspects of the sweetest berry. Participants answered questions specific to strawberries and named the types of strawberries. They also discussed interesting facts, including one that explained the tip of the tongue is the part that picks up the sweet taste.
After roughly an hour of quizzing and tasting, the winner was determined. Students then presented the ribbon to the winner. Following this, WVSF Royalty jumped in for a photo op with the winner.
Congratulations to all who participated in the event!