“It’s (NOT JUST) About the Berries” at the Ashland Strawberry Faire

April 28, 2017

Ashland, VA  If you are one of thousands of people who come to the Ashland Strawberry Faire expecting strawberry shortcake and other faire foods, great entertainment, moon bounces, and face painting; you will not be disappointed.

On a sunny day, the Faire attracts an estimated 40,000 visitors to the Center of the Universe. The big draw—Arts & Crafts vendors from all over the East Coast. Artisans, wood workers, furniture makers, crafters, seamstresses, bakers, jelly makers and photographers come every year to sell their goods and make new friends. Local Hanover County Businesses are also on site to provide information and show you their latest offerings.

What you may not know is that this is the 36th year of the Ashland Strawberry Faire. What started out as a humble strawberry festival has grown into a large event celebrating the strawberry harvest and providing significant support to local non-profits. Over 30 Non-Profits are involved in the Faire every year. To date, the Faire has provided over $75,000 worth of funds and in-kind donations to these and other local causes.

Local musicians and entertainers give of their time on the “Blackwell Stage” all day; sponsored by RCI Builders and Hometown Realty. The bands and groups performing this year include the Hanover Concert Band, Christian rock band “Weak Chain,” Indie rock band “Saint Square,” Beaverdam rock band “Mountain Road West,” Rock band “Counterpoint,” gymnastics and dancing.

An ongoing and beloved tradition of the Faire is the Youth Strawberry Pageants. This free, non-competitive pageant offers our young contestants a fun venue to creatively express their love for strawberries. Applicants are required to apply on-line. The Pageant is scheduled for 11:00am at the “Blackwell Stage.” The goodness doesn’t stop there. The Faire continues to offer Scholarships each year to Hanover County high school seniors. The scholarships are given in memory of three founding members of the Faire committee including Dick Gillis, Tafi Yourtee and Jay Pace. To date, over $75,000 worth of scholarship funding has been distributed to local students. 2017 Scholarship winners will be announced following the Pageants at 12:00 on the “Blackwell Stage.”

So, what’s new for 2017? The Faire is celebrating dogs in a big way this year! The Pet Pageant is back with a bang, thanks to Fin & Feather of Ashland. Can your pooch sing or do a special trick? Perhaps she has beautiful eyes or gorgeous fur? This year, sign up on-line or Faire day between 12-1:00pm. Show off your friendly pups at the Pet Pageant on the “RMC Welcome Center Stage” at 1 p.m. All our dog friends will receive special treats for participating, and everyone will have a chance to meet VCU’s ‘Rodney Ram!’

Another addition to the Faire is the “Kissing Booth,” a place where you can kiss–or be kissed–by a lovable pooch. This is the perfect photo opportunity for dog lovers! For a $1 donation to the Hanover Humane Society, you will have a memory to last forever. The Kissing Booth will be open from 11:00am – 3:00pm on Faire day.

After kissing a dog, come visit adoptable dogs from the Humane Society—another returning favorite to the Faire. These dogs need forever homes. Wouldn’t it be great to find your new furry friend at the Faire?

Bring your family and your friendly dogs (on leashes of course) to the Ashland Strawberry Faire on Saturday, June 3. Park in one of the official Faire parking lots noted on our website, and ride the Trolley for FREE into the Faire. Thanks to The Henry Clay Inn and The Mason Civic League for sponsoring the two Trolleys going back and forth on Faire day from 9 a.m. -3 p.m. It takes a village to run the Faire, but it’s worth it.

Visit www.AshlandStrawberryFaire.com for more information. The Ashland Strawberry Faire is a 501c3 organization. ###