Strawberry Festival turns 65

Poteet will greet 100,000 guests over the weekend


Poteet Strawberry Festival Queen Leslee Ramon and King Brandon Christopher Lopez extend an invitation to one and all to the 65th Poteet Strawberry Festival. The fun begins on Thursday and lasts until Sunday.

Poteet Strawberry Festival Queen Leslee Ramon and King Brandon Christopher Lopez extend an invitation to one and all to the 65th Poteet Strawberry Festival. The fun begins on Thursday and lasts until Sunday.

What began as a small town festival to encourage returning servicemen to farm strawberries in the sandy fields back in 1948, has blossomed to a huge event that attracts over 100,000 visitors from all over the nation.

Strawberry Festival celebrates their 65th year of its famously bright red and sweet fruit this weekend beginning Thursday, April 12 through Sunday, April 15.

Of course the festival includes a downtown parade, concerts, dances, rodeos, food show, strawberry judging and auction, contests, shows and performers of all types that will appeal to all ages.

For those who are seeking excitement, there will be a carnival, provided by Alamo Attractions. Thursday night kicks off the festival with a $20 unlimited rides armband night. The carnival continues through Sunday .

On Friday evening, the Poteet Strawberry Festival Association will open the gates to the grounds at 6 p.m. for several concerts, dances and performances. Admission to the grounds Friday night is free.

Of course, parking on the grounds is always free throughout the festival.

Gate admission on Saturday and Sunday will be $15. Admission for children under age 12; military (active duty, reserve and retired) is free.

Parade

The City of Poteet’s Strawberry Parade begins the Saturday’s festivities at 10 a.m. Poteet’s own David Lee Garza will be the Parade Marshal as floats, bands, politicians, marching and riding groups make their way through the downtown area and residential areas. The parade starts on FM-1470 (Leming Road – next to Poteet schools) and travels along Ninth Street to Avenue H. The parade will then turn right and march through the downtown area until it reaches Fourth Street. After turning right again, the parade will move through the residential area of Fourth Street and then turn right again onto School Drive. When the parade reaches the elementary school (Horton Lane), it will turn left and end.

After the parade be sure and head over to the Poteet Strawberry Festival grounds for two full days of fun, entertainment, activities, excitement and food — especially strawberries.

New acts for 2012

Some of the new acts that are being presented this year are: Banana Derby with dogriding monkeys, The Almost Patsy Cline Band and a kid size pedal tractor pull.

Concert entertainment

The Quebe Sisters start the concert series Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on the VFW Pavilion Stage #7. Music great Marty Stuart follows at 5 p.m. Siggno will be there from 8:30 -10:30 p.m. and David Lee Garza Y Los Musicales will take the stage at 11 p.m.

Clay Walker will entertain on Sunday at 5 p.m. and then Jay “The Voice” Perez will perform from 8-9:30 p.m.

Dances

There are dances and live music that will appeal to just about everyone with country, Tejano, conjunto, Texas style, good ol’ dancin’ and blues music.

Friday night will have you twirling at the Lions Pavilion on Stage #13 to the tunes of Mark McKinney at 8:30 p.m. and Kevin Fowler at 10:30 p.m. On Saturday, Gabe Garcia will perform from 9-11 p.m. with Brandon Rhyder following at 11:30.

Food for thought

It wouldn’t be a Strawberry Festival without the judging of the strawberries. This takes place at noon on Saturday at Stage #11 with the auction following at 2 p.m.

The Taste of Texas Food Show will be held Sunday with judging from 11 a.m. to noon at Stage #11 in the Rotary Pavilion. The top winners will be sold at the Taste of Texas Auction beginning at 1 p.m.

Hungry? There will be over 30 food vendors with over 100 items to drink and eat over the weekend. Coupons are 50 cents each, with items ranging from two coupons to 16.

Remember, all strawberries sold within the festival grounds are locally grown.

Favorites

All the favorites will be on the grounds again this year. The rodeos on Saturday and Sunday will start at 2 p.m. with steer roping on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Jackpot Bull Riding on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Hypnotist Mezmer, Freckles, Magician Jeff Martin, South Texas Gunfighters, Raptor Project, Mark Riggs are favorites that help make the festival more fun.

Be sure to read our Strawberry Festival Special Section included in this week’s issue for more information and a complete schedule.


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