Did you know the state fruit of Louisiana is the strawberry? Me neither. You learn something new every day. That might explain why over 300,000 people across the country attend the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival.
Celebrating its 48th year, the family-friendly outdoor event takes place this weekend, April 12-14 in Memorial Park. It’s our favorite price too, free ninety nine. From its humble beginnings as a block party back in 1972, the festival’s size has grown but the mission remains: promote local strawberry farmers, raise money for non profit organizations, and aid in scholarships to local students. There’s strawberry royalty, a parade, rides, face painting, an egg toss, bingo, a strawberry eating contest for the berry fanatic, a strawberry strut race, raffles, two stages of live local music, and strawberries. So. Many. Strawberries.
What’s on the menu? Strawberries straight up, and with a twist! Classics like strawberry shortcake, chocolate-covered strawberries, strawberry cheesecake and strawberry lemonade. Feel like getting a little more adventurous with your strawberries? There’s strawberry beer, strawberry beignets and fried strawberries. Balance is important in life so for your savory urges there’s meat pies, shrimp and oyster po boys, crawfish etoufee, pastalaya, and fried pickles to name a few. We are in the peak of strawberry season so it would be wise to scoop up your own 12 pint tray of strawberries on your way out on Farmers Row. Fresh picks from Liuzza Produce, Mrs. Heather’s Strawberry Patch, Landry-Poche Strawberry Farm, Blahut Strawberry Farm, and many other local farmers.
A Louisiana festival would not be complete without great live music. The Strawberry Fest has two stages with live performances all three days. Artists include: Category 6, Louisiana Spice, The Dominos, Chubby Carrier, The Wiseguys, Bag of Donuts, No Idea and many more.
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