New Strawberry Festival coming to Chilton

Published 3:13 pm Friday, January 14, 2022

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By Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith/ Community Columnist

Peaches have long been associated with Chilton County, but it is no secret that Chilton County soil is ideal for many different types of agriculture. On April 9, the first Chilton County Strawberry Festival will be held at Richard Wood Park in Thorsby.

“We are very excited about the Strawberry Festival,” said Janie Fleming, Director of Strawberry Queens. “Our hope is that this event will bring new tourism to Chilton County and awareness of our county’s diverse agricultural industry. Thorsby has such a wonderful, small-town charm that Richard Wood Park is the ideal venue for such a celebration.”

The festival will have vendors and entertainment but also old-fashioned competitions.

“When the committee met to discuss what events the Strawberry Festival should showcase, we all missed the old-timey competitions that used to be at the Chilton County Fair,” said Fleming. “The Strawberry Festival will host a ‘Best Strawberry Pie’ competition, ‘Best Jam’ competition, and an art contest (with strawberries used as inspiration) for different age categories.”

The festival will also host a pageant, which will name five Strawberry Queens. Prizes will include a $1,000 scholarship to the college of Miss Strawberry Queen’s choice. Other named queen sisters will receive a sash, crown and gifts from the community.

Sign-ups for the pageant will be Feb. 13, from 2-4 p.m. at Rhino-J Entertainment, 21196 US Hwy 31 in Thorsby. Applications for the pageant can be found on the Facebook page, “Chilton County Miss Strawberry Queens” and should be brought to sign-ups with a $75 application fee. The pageant will be held March 12 at 10:30 a.m. at Thorsby High School.

Other details, such as “Best Pie” rules and guidelines will be posted in the coming weeks on the “Chilton County Strawberry Festival” Facebook Page.

“We are very excited but know this first year will also be a learning opportunity for us,” said Fleming. “We are currently working on making a website where all of this information will be listed. In the days ahead, people can visit for all event information. We hope to have that website up soon.”