TROY - Tammy Walkup is no stranger to the Troy Strawberry Festival.
This year’s general festival chair grew up around the festival, performing as a member of the Sing Out Troy group and competing for its queen title in the 1980s.
She became involved as an adult at the urging of former neighbors and festival chairs Kathi and Eric Roetter, at first helping judge a talent competition. She then chaired the Home Grown Talent event followed by other roles before being approached to lead the overall festival.
That was to occur in 2021 but COVID-19 intervened for a couple of years.
This weekend, Walkup will be heading up the effort to bring another successful festival to Troy’s downtown and Great Miami River levee.
Her theme is Berries Rock.
“Music has been such a part of my life for so long. We were tossing around ideas. Then, somebody said how about Berries Rock? It just kind of took on its form from there,” Walkup said.
The festival will offer a “little bit of everything” when it comes to music/entertainment from classic rock to R&B and soul, among others. Entertainment will abound with participants including the Troy City Schools’ Pop Rocks jump rope team.
Music is never far from Walkup’s life. She comes from a musical family and began performing in bands at age 12.
She continues to perform, recently joining with McGuffey Lane during an evening at Troy’s Arbogast Performing Arts Center. She also is part of a Linda Ronstadt tribute show. She’s a longtime employee of Class Act Entertainment, serving as a booking agent.
A new event this year will be a Saturday night dance party at the community stage. Walkup invited kids, parents and anyone interested to come join in the dance.
The festival serves as a major fundraiser for clubs and organizations. A lot of crowd favorites will return, she said, such as strawberry salsa.
“It is just really amazing that people embrace the nonprofits so much. We are so appreciative of the vendors being willing to help the nonprofits. It is what keeps the festival going,” she said.
Growing up locally has its benefits, Walkup said. “I am very blessed and fortunate to have my family nearby … everybody is getting involved and helping me out,” she said.
The annual Strawberry Festival Jam will be held again downtown June 2.
A ribbon cutting will be held around 5 p.m. — followed by the dyeing of the Public Square foundation and an evening of music, including The Growlers classic rock party band at 6 p.m. and local musician Shay Hayden.
Strawberry Jam also will feature activities for children, downtown shops and restaurants will be open late and a limited number of Strawberry Festival vendors will be open for a festival preview.
More information on the Strawberry Jam is available at http://www.troystrawberryfest.com
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