2019 Troy Strawberry Festival Chairman Bruce Adamson, left, wearing the traditional red chair’s jacket, discusses this year’s festival with Gretchen Hawk of the WACO Air Museum near Troy. Adamson chose the historic aircraft once manufactured in Troy as the focus of his festival theme. CONTRIBUTED

Strawberry Festival chairman puts personal stamp on event

Adamson is responsible for the theme of this year’s 43rd version of the festival as the 2019 general chairman.

“A Berry WACO Weekend” kicks off May 31, with an evening of local activities, followed June 1 and 2 with activities in Troy’s downtown and on the Great Miami River levee.

Adamson said his love of flying and of Troy is represented by the WACO airplanes built in Troy in the 1920s-1940s and flown from an airstrip near what is now the river levee.

The theme also is intended as a play on words for what he hopes will be a “wacky, fun-filled weekend,” Adamson said. The theme logo features a WACO aircraft.

His festival involvement began through Boy Scout troop 544 in the 1980s. The troop made its money hauling trash. After the festival grew and grew, that work was turned over to someone else and the troop instead sold sweet corn.

The sweet corn sales, he said, were a lot easier than hauling the trash.

He enjoys seeing area nonprofits make money from booths offering an array of foods, beverages and other items.

“I love going around seeing booths with long lines,” he said. “So many of the nonprofits earn their year’s worth of money here. That’s my favorite part seeing all of these nonprofits do well and support themselves and a lot of their projects.”

Adamson said he loves “everything and anything strawberries” but specifically noted shortcake and strawberry doughnuts.

The festival is projected to attract around 175,000 visitors over the weekend this year, said Kailey Pour, event manager for the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce.

“I think the festival is so popular because it is one of the first festivals of the season, and it’s a great way to kick off the summer. There’s tons to do and buy and eat. Who doesn’t love strawberries?” Pour said.

A new feature for 2019 is a rest and relaxation area on Prouty Plaza on the Troy Public Square. Because parking in downtown Troy is limited and filled quickly, the festival offers shuttle service from WACO Airfield (Interstate 75 Exit 69), ITW Hobart on Ridge Avenue (from Exit 73) and the Miami County Fairgrounds (Exit 78).

An Indiana native, Adamson came to Troy in 1972 as a recent high school graduate when his parents made the Miami County seat their home. He is retiring May 31 from Emerson in Sidney, where he worked more than 43 years as a manufacturing engineer.

He left for Missouri for about three years for work before returning and making the community his home.

“I have lived in Troy longer than anywhere else in my so, so my wife and I consider Troy our home,” he said.

Teri Abramson has volunteered along with him for the festival. They have three adult children.

For more festival information visit troystrawberryfest.com.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com

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