Strawberry Festival to begin today

BUCKHANNON — Festival season has arrived in Buckhannon as the 77th annual West Virginia Strawberry Festival rolls into town for nine days.

With the theme “Stars, Stripes and Strawberries!”, the festival will have crowds of folks downtown enjoying carnival rides, local flavors and live entertainment.

Representing the state in the annual festival will be Queen-Elect Charlotte Bellotte, Teen Queen Cayton Carder and Strawberry King Joseph Robinson.

The Strawberry court will travel through the four impressive parades planned throughout the week, including the Horse and Carriage Parade, the Junior Royalty Parade, the Fireman’s Parade and the Grant Feature Parade. Weijia Jiang will be featured as the parade marshal.

Each parade brings in thousands of onlookers with participants from all over the state.

Today, to kick off the festival, the Horse and Carriage Parade will travel down Strawberry Lane at 2 p.m. with dozens of carriages, individual riders and equestrian teams with well-groomed horses of a wide variety will participate.

Held on Thursday, the Junior Royalty Parade features West Virginia community groups and bands, twirling groups, dance teams middle school bands, FFA Groups, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts and community floats.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Friday be sure to check out the Fireman’s Parade, which brings in 100 units of fire trucks and emergency squads from all over the state.

On May 19, folks will flock to the downtown area to watch the Grand Feature Parade, which has grown throughout the years with several bands and marching bands from all over the United States in attendance.

If you’re not interested in the parades, don’t worry; there are plenty of other activities to enjoy. Like, the Diaper Derby and Strawberry Blonde contest, which is held Thursday morning in the Courthouse plaza.

Catch babies and toddlers doing what they do best — being cute!

On Friday at 3 p.m., the Sweetest Berry Competition attracts many, followed by the annual strawberry auction.

Throughout the week there will be art exhibits, arts and craft sales, carnival rides and live music on the streets of downtown Buckhannon.

During festival-time, downtown restaurants and over 75 food vendors from all over the nations are supplied with strawberry dishes.

“We have food vendors that are on a rotation base – from Florida, Maryland, Kentucky, you name it,” said Debra Hupp, president of the festival committee.

Since the festival has been a highlight for the Upshur County community throughout the years, the event has become a tradition for many families.

“You’ll have people that’ll have family reunions, as well as class reunions and they just flock to us, and we love it,” Hupp said. “I mean we wouldn’t have it any other way, but to keep that family tradition going.”

2018 Strawberry Festival Schedule of Events

TODAY

11 – 4 p.m. — Food, Music & Entertainment — Main Street

2 p.m. — Horse & Carriage Parade — Strawberry Lane

SUNDAY

9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. — Archery Tournament — Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School Gym

1 p.m. — WV Draft Horse Pull — Bennett Farm

MONDAY

All Day — Spend the day in a Strawberry Way! Shop locally and eat in local restaurants for Strawberry gifts and flavors.

6 p.m. – 10 p.m. — Carnival — Downtown Buckhannon

7 p.m. — Buckhannon Upshur High School Strawberry Concert — WVWC Chapel

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