Strawberry Sift kicks off upcoming festival

Day-long celebration features preliminary berry judging, Battle of the Bands



For the first time ever, the Strawberry Sift will be brought to the spotlight with the Battle of the Bands Contest and day-long celebration on Saturday, April 8. Admission is free.

While the Poteet Strawberry Festival will take place on April 14-16, the Strawberry Sift will feature the preliminary berry judging and sale, 5K and 1-Mile Berry Run/Walk, Poteet Grange Youth Arts and Crafts Contest and much-anticipated Battle of the Bands. A variety of food trucks and vendors will also be on site at the festival grounds throughout the day.

“It’s all to support the community and to support the growers,” said Bobby Denson Jr. of the Poteet Strawberry Festival Association board and Poteet Rotary Club. “Come out and see some great bands, drink some beer and check out the food trucks and arts and crafts. There’s no charge to get in.”

5K and 1 Mile Berry Run/Walk

The morning will kick off bright and early with the third annual Poteet Strawberry Festival 5K and 1 Mile Berry Run/Walk. The Poteet Rotary Club, TriCity Road Warriors, Poteet Strawberry Festival Association and IAAP are gearing up for the upcoming event.

Among the sponsors are Farm to Familia, Kiolbassa Smoked Meats and Freedom Insurance.

“We are so excited about this year’s event. Seeing it grow is such a great feeling,” said Diana G. Leal, Poteet Rotary Club event chair and TriCity Road Warrior founder/director.

As of March 12, their online registrations have exceeded 2022. Currently, they have 95 total participants registered. Leal hopes to surpass 126 and said it looks to be heading that way.

There are different age categories, ranging from 10 to over 75. Awards will be given for the 5K only. Along with the overall male and female winner is the addition of a trophy to the largest 5K team to register online. So far, there are six teams vying for this award. They include: the Munster Squad; Maravillas; Not Berry Fast; Pleasanton High School JROTC; Ripe Strawberries and the TriCity Road Warriors.

Runners and walkers represent not only Atascosa County, but also other Texas areas and beyond. There is still time to register. Vist then click on”Find a Race.” Type in “3rd Annual Poteet Strawberry Festival Run” and register. You also have an option to create your team, just make sure you tell your group to click on your team name.

Currently, the registration fee is $30 for ages 19- 77+ and $25 for ages 5-18. The price will increase to $35 for 19-70+ and $30 for 5-19, starting April 1. The first 100 registrants receive a T-shirt. Medals will be presented to the first 100 finishers.

Those who preregister can pick up their packets Friday, April 7 from 4:30- 7:30 p.m. at the Armed Forces Pavilion on 9199 N. State Hwy. 16 in Poteet (Poteet festival grounds). Don’t worry if you can’t pick it up then, since you can pick up your packet the day of the Run/Walk.

On site registration is April 8 from 6-7 a.m. The 1 Mile Walk/1.6K Walk starts at 7:30 a.m. followed by the 5K Run/Walk at 8 a.m. Awards will immediately follow the 5K. Giveaways are only for the runners and walkers who started and finished the 5K or 1 Mile.

They will welcome special appearances by Batman and his guest, The San Antonio Warrior Maiden Dancers, the 2023 Poteet Strawberry Festival Court, Freckles the mascot and a surprise guest.

Schools groups interested in volunteer opportunities are asked to please contact Mrs. Leal at 830- 399-9151 or

Funds raised from the online registration will go to scholarships for Poteet High School seniors.

“We want to promote health and fitness to all. Fitness made fun,” said Leal.

Food trucks & vendors

If you’re not running or walking in the race, why not cheer on those who are? You can also treat your taste buds and enjoy shopping with local vendors, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Margarita’s Tacos and Fowl Play will be there, with a third food truck pending.

Vendors are: Fi’s Crafts, Desert Babe’s Freshies, Tom’s Treasures, Sarah’s Creations, Clay Aria, Gracie’s Creations, 2 Sisters, Mary Bell Everything Strawberry, Leather by James, Alamo Paletaes and Lil’ Bit of Everything and more. Centro Med and Belong will be on hand sharing info on their services.

Strawberry Sift & Sale

“The Strawberry Sift is the pre-judging of the famous Poteet strawberries. On Saturday, April 8, prior to the annual Poteet Strawberry Festival, local Atascosa County strawberry growers hand-select the very best of their crop and bring them to the Strawberry Festival grounds to be pre-judged for this year’s competition,” said Darrell Eichman, Poteet Rotary Club president-elect.

The finalists will then move on to be judged at the festival on Saturday, April 15.

The Strawberry Sift began in more recent years and is a way of narrowing down the berry entries chosen to return to final judging at the Poteet Strawberry Festival. The sift the week before is necessary, since there is not enough time to judge all entries in one day.

The Poteet Rotary anticipates approximately 100 flats of over nine varieties to be submitted during the sift.

“In an effort to support our local Poteet Strawberry Growers Association, we are announcing the first ever sift Pre-Sale,” said Eichman. “You will be able to reserve and pre-purchase the showberries and grower-select described below.”

•Showberries- $50 per flat*. Strawberries ranked in top five of a variety.

•Grower-Select- $40 per flat*. Excellent strawberries, but did not rank in top five of a variety.

*A flat consists of 12 pints.

“These strawberries are perfect for client gifts, employee appreciation, special celebrations or just because,” shared Eichman.

The sift will take place in the Poteet Rotary Club building on the festival grounds. The schedule is:

•Noon- Deadline to present strawberries.

•12:30-4 p.m.- Sift Judging.

3:30-6 p.m.- Strawberry Sift Sale.

Please note that prepaid orders must be picked up Saturday, April 8, between 3-6 p.m.

All proceeds benefit the Poteet Strawberry Growers Association. Showberries are the highest quality and best of the best! You will be able to buy champion berries that normally sell for thousands of dollars at the auction, for a much lower price.

The link to pre-purchase showberries is coming soon. You will be able to find it at https:// rotary/#rotary-club (Rotary | Poteet Strawberry Festival)

Poteet Grange Youth Arts and Crafts Contest

The Poteet Grange invites Atascosa County youth to its first ever Arts and Crafts Contest. The contest is open to those ages 5-18 and will be part of the Strawberry Sift celebration on April 8.

Bring your entries from 9-10 a.m. at the Gary Denton Pavilion on the Poteet Strawberry Festival grounds. The show will be open for public viewing from 12-4 p.m. Winners are asked to please pick up their entries later in the afternoon.

Prizes in each class will include Reserve Champion, Champion and Best in Show. There will be two age groups.

Categories are:

•Needlework: Crochet, Knit, Embroidery and Needlefelt.

•Photos: Nature, Sky, Places/Architecture

•Art: Oil, Acrylics, Watercolor and Drawing. Please note, subject matter for the Art category is the choice of the artist.

Those with questions on the rules are asked to email

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