There is always something to celebrate in life. Weddings, birthdays, promotions, and even the harvest time. Yes, you read it right, the harvest time is a season worth celebrating. This tiny, juicy, and lovely fruit of strawberry is a great resource of vitamin C, vitamin B9, potassium, and other vitamins and minerals. Strawberries will take you to the areas where it is the first harvest-ready plant. Also, the reasons why it deserves to be celebrated in many states in the US through cool strawberry festival facts.
The strawberry festival in the US is being held regularly. Each city or state will showcase its unique traditions through numerous activities for the visitors. At the event, strawberry-based food becoming one of the main reasons people keep coming each year. Therefore, the festival will be more enjoyable if you bring friends along. So, how about the strawberry festival in other countries? Are they equally fun? Get the answer through the fun facts of the strawberry festivals in the US here. Moreover, you can also get a glimpse of the strawberry festivals around the world.
1. An Annual Event in the US
As you might already know, this festival is one of the biggest annual events in the US. Some states are competing to have the most famous and biggest Strawberry Festival. When you do your research on Strawberry Festival, you might find out that Belleville, Michigan has the largest festival. It turns out to be the oldest Strawberry Festival in the US, too. It was held for the first time in 1925, and it was called the Strawberry Day.
2. Strawberry Festival to Welcome Spring or Summer
Moving on to the next strawberry festival fact, the strawberry festivals mark the end of the gloomy winter season and the beginning of spring or summer. However, it depends on which month the state chooses to hold the festival. Thus, according to some people, the strawberry festival is the event to celebrate a new beginning. It’s a season where vibrant colors start to appear with many entertainments and showcase the unique traditions of the locals.
3. Strawberry Shortcake is Florida’s Official Dessert
One of the largest strawberry festivals in the US, the Florida Strawberry Festival, is famous for its strawberry-themed entertainment for its guests. The fifth day of the 2022 celebration marked the signing of the law by Governor Ron DeSantis. It officially regulated the strawberry cake to be the state’s official dessert as well. The original name of the state’s strawberry festival is the Plant City Strawberry Festival. It becomes a yearly event to honor King Strawberry—a name used to refer to the head of agricultural products during that time.
4. Each State Has Its Own Unique Characteristics
Like other festivals, the Strawberry Festivals have entertainment and activities to serve the guests. If you look at the nationwide timetable, you will notice that each state that regularly holds the festival has their own unique traditions. For instance, strawberry eating contests exist in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, and so on; yet you will hardly find the same contest in the states of Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, and Massachusetts, to name a few.
5. Strawberry Festivals Give Back
Since its initial purpose is to celebrate the premier crop to be harvested, the strawberry festival has been meant to celebrate all parties that are involved in it. Some official websites transparently reported non-profit and profit-based stakeholders who made the strawberry festival possible, including the beneficiaries. Florida is among the most creative states when it comes to giving back to the community. They were initiating a fun competition for the growers in conjunction with the main festival.
6. Public Figures Came to Support
To attract more visitors, the committee usually invite local celebrities and public figures alike to come and enjoy the strawberry festival—usually during the parade. Not only that, since the strawberry festival is full of entertainment, it is no secret that people can enjoy music concerts and performances by their favorite singers. Note that additional tickets must be purchased for the show.
7. The Strawberry Festivals Drive the Local Economy
It goes without saying that the festivals also boost the local economy. Besides tourism, more than 90% of households in the entire United States consume strawberries. A city in Hillsborough County, Pan City once made it to headline news. They were claiming the festival to be the heartbeat of the city in a way that the strawberry festival itself can be a door to many potential projects, investments, and job opportunities for the city. Thus, the Pant City’s strawberry festival is one of the most vital events for the locals.
8. It Becomes a Tradition
In general, the strawberry festival is part of an ancient tradition. For a first-timer, the strawberry festival is full of fun, joy, and a proper introduction to the local agricultural knowledge. But for a festival goer, it is more than just a festival! For locals, growing up with the strawberry festival becomes a tradition for them to visit the event annually. Not to mention the strawberry event is held for a good cause.
9. Being Held Everywhere
The strawberry festival is known to be celebrated throughout the US. But have we already told you that the strawberry festivals do not only take place in a huge park? Of course, it is because the event is a tradition. Thus, many people also hold the festival at church, school, and also campus. Due to its large capacity and coverage, visitors can meet a lot of people, make friends, and expand their network during the event.
10. A Family-friendly Festival
When you hear the word “festival” your mind may refer to the one that involves music and dance. While in that context, children are often not allowed to enter, the strawberry festival is way different. The nature of the festival is a family-friendly event to enjoy by both parents and children. There are lots of exciting activities to choose from, ranging from cooking shows to fun games. Children can also experience so many social learning activities besides getting to know about the history and traditions of the strawberry festivals.
11. The Strawberry Festivals Experienced a Hiatus due to COVID Pandemic
Like other events that invite a large amount of people, the strawberry festivals are being put on hold because of the pandemic situation. However, the year 2022 marks the return of the festivals in some cities like Newark, Ponchatoula, Garden Grove, Santa Maria, and other cities. Unfortunately, this does not really happen in some states. Take the California Strawberry Festival as an example. The state had been through some considerations, yet the uncertainty and impacts brought by the pandemic persist. Thus, they decided to cancel the 2022 festival. What a sad strawberry festival fact, indeed.
12. Top Strawberry Producers Across the US
Having the strawberry festival as an annual event, it is no wonder if people start to wonder, which state is the biggest strawberry producer amongst all? Short answer, California. A more detailed answer, it is California that accounts for around 90% of the US strawberry production. This strawberry festival fact makes California the top producer across the country with Florida placed second out of all states in the US with only 8% of the strawberries in the US.
13. The Strawberry Festival as a Spot for Political Campaigns
Although the strawberry festival is not about politics and stuff, it is the sweet spot for anything politics. This festival has the potential to create a crowd in such delightful mood. So people are ready to have a short-but-sharp conversation with you. After all, what else do you need as a politician than conveying your campaigns?
It really happened during the Boone County Strawberry Festival in June 2015. While the Pungo Strawberry Festival stands in a stricter position in a way that the committee keeps reminding the local politicians to avoid any political-related campaigns during the festival.
14. The Largest Strawberry Shortcake is in Pasadena, Texas
Texas is widely known as “The Strawberry Capital of the South” even though the state is not the biggest strawberry producer. But like other states, Texas has its own strawberry festivals, with the Pasadena Strawberry Festival being one of them. If there is one thing the Pasadena Strawberry Festival is famous for, it is its effort to persistently maintain the world’s record for the largest strawberry shortcake each year. This also gives birth to the general term of “Texas-sized” that people commonly use to refer to a large-sized object or idea.
15. The Strawberry Festival is Also Celebrated Across the Globe
We have come to the last strawberry festival fact in the list. Many countries, other than the US also celebrate and have their own strawberry festivals! As the world’s highest raw strawberry consumer, Japan holds their annual strawberry festival. In Japan, the festival is dominated by strawberry-hunting activities or “Ichigo-gari” in Japanese.
While for Finland, the strawberry festival is held to celebrate the fruit’s sweetest season. It’s being conducted with a slightly different naming, namely the Strawberry Carnival. In South Africa, the strawberry festival is a yearly event held in September. It was during the school holidays, and the farm will be transformed into a huge exciting park full with inflatables and stalls.