Strawberry Festival offered as jam this year

NO CUTLINE for PBP festive Florida listStrawberry pie is always a hot seller at the Troy Strawberry Festival. (CONTRIBUTED)
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NO CUTLINE for PBP festive Florida listStrawberry pie is always a hot seller at the Troy Strawberry Festival. (CONTRIBUTED)

Credit: HANDOUT

Credit: HANDOUT

Annual event canceled; scaled-down celebration features favorites.

TROY – The annual Troy Strawberry Festival was canceled for the second year, but a scaled-down event dubbed the Strawberry Jam is coming Friday and Saturday downtown, offering music and some favorite festival foods from local nonprofits.

“This is a smaller event focused on celebrating the resiliency of our community,” said Kathi Roetter of the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce, the home of the Troy Strawberry Festival born in the 1970s.

Activities will be held June 4 from 5 to 9:30 p.m. and June 5 from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the downtown area of one block north and south of the Public Square and two blocks east and west.

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A focal point of the annual festival has been the local nonprofits operating fundraising booths. Twenty-five of those nonprofits will participate this year providing what Roetter described as festival favorites, including pork chop sandwiches, strawberry brats, strawberry funnel cakes and lemon shake-ups. Moeller Brew Barn, which has an operation a couple of blocks from the Public Square, will offer beer sales including strawberry beverages brewed locally.

Entertainment will be ongoing during the event from a stage downtown.

Friday evening will feature local musician Jerry Mullins and Brother Believe Me. Saturday morning will focus on children and families including a ventriloquist with other music genres during the day ending with SWAGG, a local party band.

The festival committee announced the decision this spring to not hold a festival for a second year. That decision was followed a few days later by the announcement of planning for the Strawberry Jam.

Caption
Strawberry donuts. Strawberry shortcake. Chocolate-covered berries. All of these sweet treats in 2018 were part of the charm of the annual Troy Strawberry Festival. This year, the Strawberry Jam event will take place Friday and Saturday. CONTRIBUTED 2018

Credit: DAVID MOODIE

Strawberry donuts. Strawberry shortcake. Chocolate-covered berries. All of these sweet treats in 2018 were part of the charm of the annual Troy Strawberry Festival. This year, the Strawberry Jam event will take place Friday and Saturday. CONTRIBUTED 2018
Caption
Strawberry donuts. Strawberry shortcake. Chocolate-covered berries. All of these sweet treats in 2018 were part of the charm of the annual Troy Strawberry Festival. This year, the Strawberry Jam event will take place Friday and Saturday. CONTRIBUTED 2018

Credit: DAVID MOODIE

Credit: DAVID MOODIE

The festival committee, the city of Troy and Miami County Public Health have been involved in fast-paced planning.

“After the past year of shutdowns and restrictions, I am very happy for our community that the Strawberry Jam will take place. The festival committee has worked hard to plan an abbreviated event in a very short amount of time,” Troy Mayor Robin Oda said.

“The city is working with the committee to provide the same support and assistance that would have happened with the full festival,” she said.

Funding is coming from the city and sponsors.

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The city’s expenses are estimated at less than $50,000 including around $35,000 for services and $15,000 for bands, said Tom Funderburg, assistant city service director who is the city liaison to the planning committee.

The city always plays a role in the festival and will again ensure safety by providing adequate police and firefighter/paramedics during the event, he said. Various city departments are involved in supporting vendor setup, providing adequate utilities and helping at the event’s conclusion and ensuring streets are safely reopened.

The city, Funderburg said, wants to take a lead role in again providing community activities.

“The citizens of Troy, like other communities, have complied with efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus. This has resulted in a year of isolation and inactivity, which has had an impact on the economy and social engagement,” he said.

“It is time to provide the kind of community activities for which we are known. The timing of the lifting of the regulations have limited some of the standard activities, but we want to take the lead on providing events and opportunities for our residents and surrounding visitors.”

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Roetter said the chamber and festival committee are pleased to be able to offer the event to allow people to come together after recent lifting of COVID restrictions.

“People have been very responsive. Most wish we could have the full festival, but it just wasn’t an option at the time the decision needed to be made (on whether to hold a full festival),” Roetter said. Most people have been understanding and know that an event like the Strawberry Festival doesn’t happen overnight.”

For more information, including an entertainment schedule, visit TroyStrawberryFest.com/Strawberry-jam

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com.

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