Second annual Strawberry Festival brings thousands to Thorsby

Published 1:43 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

The second annual Chilton County Strawberry Festival in Thorsby beat the rain and hosted thousands of strawberry lovers on April 29 at Richard Wood Park. Over 140 vendors, 10 food trucks and multiple musical acts performed throughout the festival and kept the good vibes high.

“It was a very positive action for the city of Thorsby, and it brought a lot of people here,” Thorsby Mayor Robert Hight said at the council meeting on May 1. “There looked like there were twice as many people this year, and everyone seemed like they were happy and most strawberry farmers sold out. It promoted the farmers, their farms and produce stands, so they were extremely happy.”

Hight said Alabama Power is going to get Thorsby an estimate of how many people attended the festival, but he estimates over 10,000 people came out to support one of Chilton County’s most precious crops.

Last year, in the festival’s first year, there were around 70 vendors. That number grew to almost 150 this year and patrons packed into Richard Wood Park to see what was for sale.

The festival began at 9 a.m. with strawberry baskets from various farmers in Chilton County being auctioned off. Mulberry Farms basket of strawberries won first place.

The festival opened to the public at 10 a.m. and the 2023 Strawberry Queens Jesslyn Maddox, Alanna Cleckler, Lanie Adams and Carlee Smith, along with the Swedish Queens, Blackberry Queens and Miss Chilton County Queens were introduced on stage.

Tony Graydon was the first musical act to take the stage. Performances from Blast From the Past students followed him along with the band Blackbird Pickers.

Local strawberry farmers and producers will have strawberries available at their farms and produce stands for the next few weeks while the crop is still in season.