It’s not the law, but I highly recommend that you come out to the Poteet Strawberry Festival in Poteet this coming weekend. Things get started on Thursday evening with arm band night at the carnival. It’s certainly one of the largest carnivals in South Texas. On Friday the gates open at 6:00 p.m. with ticket prices for entrance being only $10 and $5 if you buy them online. Carnival rides are $1 each on Friday. Saturday and Sunday the ticket prices are $20 per person, $15 if you buy online. Be sure and take advantage of the Strawberry Festival Association’s FREE PARKING lots. Don’t forget the big parade downtown Saturday morning that starts at 10:00 a.m. There is a lot to see upon entering the grounds. There is not enough space in this column to list all there is to see and do. All performances and concerts are free after purchasing a ticket to enter the grounds. The various types of food available Friday, Saturday and Sunday is unique and outstanding. I highly encourage the partaking of some of these great cuisines. All food sold benefits the particular non-profit organization that is operating the booth.
What I mainly want to talk to you about is the security while you and your family attend the festival. The Strawberry Festival Association hires over 60 off-duty officers that will be on the grounds to ensure you have a good and safe time. In addition, I always have around a half dozen on-duty deputy sheriffs on the grounds and additional deputies will be on patrol on the roads and highways. We take great pride in providing the utmost professional security to the festival goers and in not having a major incident in over six years. My staff goes into great detail with the cooperation of the Festival Association directors, to strategically position officers around the grounds to enhance the visibility and response time of an officer if they are needed in a particular area. We also station several officers inside the carnival alone, along with plain clothes officers in making sure your safety is our number one priority. Arrests on the grounds in the past several years can be counted on one hand. In addition to the large number of security officers present, there are other security measures taken that the public is not even aware of. The PSFA Directors and my office want to make sure the weekend is as safe as possible. As in all situations, we encourage festival goers to immediately report any suspicious circumstances to the nearest officer, the festival office, or by calling 9-1-1. I will be on the grounds all weekend so look me up and I hope to see ya there. Until next time, stay safe and if we can be of any assistance to you, please call my office at 830-769-3434.
DAVID SOWARD is the elected Sheriff of Atascosa County. He has been with the sheriff’s office for 42 years and he is in his 7th year as Sheriff. Sheriff Soward holds a Master Jailer’s License as well as a Master Peace Officer’s License from the State of Texas.