Strawberry Fest chair loves bowling

Event theme includes the family love.Doug Stone coaches the school’s JV team.

He was drawn into Troy Strawberry Festival planning nearly 20 years ago by the Bigelows, owners of Troy bowling alleys, to help as a marshal for the popular festival parade.

He then turned to his sport of choice for this year’s festival theme after being selected by the festival committee as 2015 festival chairman.

When the 39th edition of the festival rolls into town June 6-7 (with related events on June 5) it’ll be accompanied by his Bowling for Berries theme.

A Troy native, Stone grew up in bowling alleys as the son of the late William Stone, who coached hundreds of young people in bowling for 42 years while also serving as the local high school junior varsity team coach.

“It carried down,” Stone said of the family love that caught his attention along with that of his children. William Stone died four years ago, and Doug Stone today serves as a high school junior varsity bowling coach.

“I played baseball, football, but his is the one I preferred. I was better at it,” Stone said with a grin as he discussed the festival and bowling from the Troy Bowl one recent quiet afternoon.

Stone works for Time Warner as a service line installation technician. Among his other interests is camping.

Over the years, Stone served as a parade marshal – keeping people along the parade route safe and the parade on course each June – before later chairing the parade committee. The parade has been has been gone for a couple of years as the festival site has been expanded to include the area of the Public Square downtown in addition to the traditional festival site on the Great Miami River Levee.

This year’s site will be similar to last year though North Market Street will be closed and the Market Street Bridge for the car show staging Sunday of festival weekend.

Stone said festival planning has gone smoothly so far.

He emphasized the continuing purpose of the festival to serve as a fundraiser for local nonprofit organizations. Last year, those organizations raised more than $300,000 during festival weekend.

The festival also features arts and crafts, entertainment and a number of other events.

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