Today’s Strawberry Festival is a far cry from what Joanna Lane envisioned in June 1875.
Joanna, along with women from the Methodist Episcopal Church, organized a half-day community celebration to be held on the lawn of the Lane Place. admission was 10 cents. And guess what, strawberries were the focal point of the gathering.
In 1975, Jane Kessler and Pat Cline organized a modern day version of Joanna’s Strawberry Festival. Kessler and Cline organized a half-day event that featured strawberries as well as sandwiches and drinks. Soon after the 1975 version of the Strawberry Festival, local artisans began to display their talents by adding an art show to the festival that soon became an all-day celebration. By the early 1980s, children’s activities, entertainment and a Sunday morning worship service were added to the festival which by then had expanded to three days.
Crowds of 15,000 to 20,000 have become commonplace
This year’s festival begins Friday and continues through Sunday at Lane Place. The following includes some festival highlights.
Arts and Craft
The Arts and Crafts section of the Strawberry Festival is located on the south lawn of the Lane Place. This year there will be a different layout to adhere to the fire marshal’s request that no extension cords be run across an aisle. Therefore, each row of vendors will be solid with no north/south aisles.
Crafters come from the local Crawfordsville area and as far away as Texas. The crafts are a diverse mix ranging from jewelry, plants, soy soaps and candles, oil paintings, pencil drawings, wood carvings, clothing, quilts, purses, and much more. All crafts are totally or partially handmade.
Booths are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
If you are interested in booth space for this year’s festival, check for availability by calling Patti Perkins at 765-401-1866.
Cars and Tractors
Once again the festival features a tractor show and several car shows throughout the weekend festivities. Come and enjoy all the beautiful vehicles as they are displayed on Pike Street. The Montgomery County Pioneer Association will have antique tractors displayed on Pike Street Friday through Sunday during the festival. There will be some beautiful tractors on display.
The 19th annual Corvette show will be 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The show features only Corvettes and is open to all years. For more information call Scott Voliva at 765-366-2968 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ben Hur Antique &
Classic Car Club
The Ben Hur Antique & Classic Car Club will host its annual Strawberry Festival Car Show from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. More than 150 classic cars and trucks are expected. Registration is from 8 a.m. until noon. Vehicle registration will be held at Pike and Washington streets. Display areas will be on Pike Street from Washington Street to Green Street and on Green Street from St. John’s Episcopal Church north to Main Street and in all parking lots in between.
The Children’s Area
Magician Marcus Lehman will perform Saturday afternoon at the gazebo. There also will be several booths and games for children.
Festival Sports Competitions
The Strawberry Festival 5K Road Race and 1K Kiddie Romp will be held Saturday. Any male or female runner in good physical condition is eligible. Check in from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the race headquarters in front of the City Hall, located at the intersection of North Water and East Pike streets. The course will close 45 minutes after the start of the 5K race.
Overall male and female top three finishers will receive $100, $60 and $35, respectively. Each division first place finisher will receive a $10 award. All prizes will be handed out at the completion of the event. Souvenir T-shirts will be given to all preregistered competitors. You must be present to receive the award. After the 5K results are tabulated a 1K Kiddie Romp for children 9 and younger will be held at the City Building. Appropriate awards will be presented.
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The Strawberry Festival Tennis Tournament will take place Saturday and Sunday. Matches will be played at Crawfordsville High School. Awards will be presented in various classifications and divisions. Contact Jason Hutchison at 765-361-6353 for further tournament information and entries.
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The Strawberry Festival Softball Tournament will be played Friday through Sunday. Games begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday and will end around 6 p.m. Sunday at Welliever and Elston Park fields. This year’s tournament will feature different classes of competition. Call Bob Cash at 765-364-0748 at home or 765-376-8546 on his cell for more information.
The festival committee has added a commercial area for vendors who sell commercially produced products or offer services. There will be 30 booths available in this area located on Water Street on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
There will be a golf scramble at the Municipal course on Friday, opening with a lunch and registration at noon. Golf will start at 1 p.m.
The Strawberry Festival, in conjunction with Indiana Blood Center, will have a blood drive from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
The only requirements are that donors must be at least 17 years of age, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, and be in good general health. Donors who are 16 may give blood with parental permission and a completed donation permission form. Blood donors must present a picture ID such as a driver’s license.
The Indiana Blood Center mobile unit will be located on East Pike street on Sunday. You may pre-register by going to