Alderson Strawberry Festival has big plans

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Alderson Main Street selling strawberry lemonade and the Alderson Women’s Club selling strawberry shortcake were two of the nonprofits generating funds for local projects by participating in the 2018 Strawberry Festival.

The fourth annual Alderson Strawberry Festival will take place Saturday, May 25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the center of town on both the Greenbrier and Monroe County sides.

Sponsored by Alderson Main Street, coordinated by Mystik Miller, and featuring the freshest of strawberries from Sunset Berry Farm, this event has become hugely popular.

For those who like to get an early start or vendors who need fuel for the day, there will be a pancake breakfast at the Alderson Volunteer Fire Department from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. This fundraiser for the fire department is sure to include strawberry syrup! Alderson Elementary School will host a 5K in the morning at 9 a.m.

The day will include live music at the Gazebo in Alumni Park by Emmalea Deal from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, the Goodson Boys from 1 to 3 p.m., and an evening concert with the Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys from 4 to 6 p.m. There will be a variety of food: Stuart’s Smokehouse, corn dogs, kettle corn, strawberry shortcake, strawberry ice cream, strawberry lemonade, red velvet waffles, and of course real strawberries from local Sunset Berry Farm, winner of last year’s “Sweetest Berry in West Virginia” contest.

A corn hole competition will start at 10:30 a.m. and a dessert contest (please submit your entry by 10 a.m. at the Johnson Memorial Methodist Church). Dessert entries will be auctioned at noon! There will be a raffle of gift cards to local shops and eateries valued over $100 and raffle tickets will be available for purchase throughout the day. Yard sales will be held throughout the town and the Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church will host its annual flea market.

Kids activities will be centered at the Visitors Center and include unicorn rides provided by the WV Renaissance Festival! There will also be a scavenger hunt children can participate in for a prize.

There will also be field activities including a hula hoop competition at 12 noon, a jump rope competition at 12:30 p.m., and other fun activities. These activities will take place next to the Visitors Center.

All Alderson elementary students are invited to participate in our first annual Strawberry King and Strawberry Queen competition. The King & Queen will be chosen based on good citizenship, kindness and helpfulness to others in their community. To be considered, students should write a short (one page or less) essay describing what citizenship means to them and the ways they demonstrate good citizenship in their own lives. All elementary ages are invited to participate. Essays must be submitted by May 1, and can be emailed to sunsetberryfarm@hotmail.com. You may also text a picture of the essay to 304-646-3784 or mail it to Jennifer Gilkerson at 791 Sunset School Road, Alderson, WV 24910.

Everyone is invited to participate in a strawberry themed walking parade on Strawberry Festival Day (May 25) starting from the Alderson Visitors Center at 12:30 p.m. Put on your strawberry costume and decorate your wagons! The parade will walk across the bridge to the gazebo in Alumni Park for crowning of the Queen & King.

Several local nonprofits will be sharing their work and hosting activities. There will also be a large variety of shopping including locally created art and locally sourced food products. Vendors will be spread from the Historic 1896 C&O Train Depot across the Alderson Memorial Bridge (pedestrian) to the Visitors Center. Walk the town and explore!

The Strawberry Festival wants to thank our main partner sponsors, Sunset Berry Farm and Greenbrier Valley Medical Center, whose generous support makes these activities possible. A special thanks to our gold sponsors, Rainelle Medical Center and the Greenbrier River Campground, which provides weekend recreation, and to our silver sponsor, the Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation, which works hard to support and build community in the region.

Here is a link to the facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/518550428668085/

Mayor Travis Copenhaver said, “We may just be finishing what has seemed like the greyest winter in memory, but those strawberries have been snug in their high tunnels and are ready to ripen. Please join all of Alderson to celebrate the sweetness of summer.”