Posted by: Mae Mayeux
Ponchatoula, Louisiana is known as the Strawberry Capital of the World. So it only makes sense that it would host an entire festival dedicated to the tasty red fruit. The 48th annual Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival will be held this April 12-14th in Memorial Park. This free, family-friendly outdoor event is a great way to spend a weekend and kick off Spring.
The main draw of the festival is, of course, its delicious strawberries and strawberry-based delicacies. In addition to some of the biggest, freshest, juiciest strawberries you’ll ever find, the festival also welcomes a variety of food vendors selling all sorts of delicious strawberry treats, including strawberry shortcake, strawberry jams, strawberry pastries, strawberry pies, strawberry ice cream, and even deep-fried strawberries. Deep fried strawberries are dipped in beignet batter, deep-fried, and then lightly dusted with sugar. Pretty hard to resist, if we don’t say so ourselves. We also recommend giving the cinnamon-flavored version a try. If you’re a big eater, consider participating in their annual Strawberry Eating Contest, where strawberry lovers compete to see who can eat an entire pint of strawberries the fastest. To win, you must eat the entire berry, stem included. The Strawberry Eating Contest is a healthier alternative to the more traditional Hot Dog or Pie Eating Contests. This way you can gorge yourself without feeling too guilty, right?
Though strawberries are the stars of the festival, the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival is about so much more than fruit. The festival also features live performances by local musicians, a strawberry parade, strawberry auction, and all sorts of fun-filled carnival rides and games. If you feel like breaking a sweat, sign up for the Strawberry Strut. Runners have the option of competing in a 10K, 5K, or 1 mile Fun Run. In addition, Ponchatoula is a lovely town to explore when you aren’t enjoying yourself at the festival. “Ponchatoula” is the Choctaw Indian word for “hair to hang,” in reference to the lovely Spanish moss you’ll find hanging from the trees. In addition to being the Strawberry Capital of the World, Ponchatoula also holds the distinction as America’s Antique City. The charming downtown area is filled with many restored historic buildings stocked with wonderful antiques, art pieces, and original hand-crafted items. The Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to discover a new town, have a good time, and celebrate the ultimate summer fruit.
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