Rain only dampened the chairs affixed to street signs and light poles along Strawberry Lane Thursday, not the spirits of those who took part in the Junior Royalty Parade and other events of the West Virginia Strawberry Festival.
Addison Woofter was named the winner of the Strawberry Blonde contest Thursday, one of the highlights of the children's day of activities sponsored by the Buckhannon Rotary Club.
The festival features a host of activities for Friday, including the traditional Sweetest Berry Contest at 3 p.m. on the Upshur County Courthouse plaza.
The Inter-Mountain photos by Melissa Toothman
Featured on a layered float in the West Virginia Strawberry Festival Junior Royalty Parade Thursday are the sibling Junior Royalty King and Queen, Adaryus and Jazmin Gillum.
A dozen 12-year-olds will judge which berry is the sweetest from the strawberries brought in for the 4 p.m. auction. That age group is chosen because their taste buds are said to be at their peak. In addition to judging the berries, the children are quizzed on their knowledge of the Strawberry Festival.
Many local churches and civic organizations will be opening to sell a variety of strawberry treats Friday. For starters, the First United Methodist Church will be offering strawberry pancakes at 7 a.m. The American Legion will be selling strawberry shortcake, as will the 4-H clubs at the Episcopal Church. Homemade ice cream and old-fashioned sugar cookies can be found at the Chapel Hill United Methodist Church. The Firemen's Parade promises to bring trucks of all sizes and sounds through the streets of downtown Buckhannon at 6:30 p.m. Following the parade, a pie-eating contest, a Best Legs (men only) contest and the adult division of the Strawberry Blonde competition will be held on the courthouse plaza.
The Rockefeller Gymnasium on the campus of West Virginia Wesleyan College will be buzzing with activities Friday. An arts and crafts show will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and each crafter will be selling an unique strawberry-related item. An art show will be held during the same hours in the facility, as will a CEOS clubs and Quilters at Heart quilt show.
The berry-capping championship and the crowning of Lord and Lady Strawberry will be held at 2:30 p.m. at the Upshur County Senior Center.
The day's activities culminate at 9 p.m. with a Party Gras celebration on Main Street. Sebastien De La Cruz and his mariachi band will entertain the crowds, as will Brandon Stover. Other features include chainsaw artist Andy Kerns, the Woodside Wheelers, Legends and Janaknoo from the Bahamas.
Main Street will be closed off so that the stages can be set up.
Friday's Schedule of Events
7 a.m. to noon - Strawberry pancakes and sausage, First United Methodist Church
9 a.m. - Orchestra competition, Wesley Chapel at West Virginia Wesleyan College
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Photography exhibit, Upshur Senior Center
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. - Strawberry shortcake and drinks, American Legion
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Craft sale, First Presbyterian Church
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Lunch, First Presbyterian Church
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. - Juried art show, Rockefeller Gymnasium, WVWC
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. - Arts and crafts show, Rockefeller Gymnasium
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. - CEO and Quilters at Heart Quilt Show, Rockefeller Gymasium
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. - 4-H Strawberry Shortcake and steak sandwich sale, Episcopal Church
10 a.m. to midnight - Concessions and vendors open
10:30 a.m. - Homemade ice cream, shortcake and sugar cookies, Chapel Hill United Methodist Church
11 a.m. - Entries for Strawberry Recipe Contest, WVU Extension Office
11 a.m. - Strawberry Festival Gift Shop opens
1 p.m. - Strawberry Recipe Contest judging
1 p.m. - Gambill's Amusements Carnival opens
2:30 p.m. - Berry-capping contest, Upshur Senior Center
2:30 p.m. - Crowning of Lord and Lady Strawberry, Upshur Senior Center
3 p.m. - Sweetest Berry competition, Courthouse plaza
4 p.m. - Strawberry Auction, followed by Chef Auction and Basket Auction, Courthouse plaza
4 p.m. - Antique engine show, Main Street
5 p.m. - Courthouse entertainment
5 p.m. - Antique car cruise-in, Kelley Motors on West Main Street
6:30 p.m. - Firemen's Parade
After the parade, Strawberry Blonde contest for adults, Courthouse plaza
After the parade, Pie-eating contest, Courthouse plaza
After the parade, Best Legs Contest (men only), Courthouse plaza
8:30 p.m. - Strawberry Idol, Courthouse plaza
9 p.m. to midnight - Party Gras, Main Street.