Wednesday March 31, 2010
For over 30 years, the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival has provided a venue as the largest fundraiser for non-profit and charitable organizations. The festival prides itself as being one of the only festivals in which non-profit organizations are the only vendors on the official festival grounds.
The Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival Board was organized in 1971 and started planning for the first festival to be held in April of 1972. The first festival was co-sponsored by the Ponchatoula Jaycees and the Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce from which both organizations provided three members to serve on the festival board.
The committee and many other interested volunteers worked diligently for months planning the first festival. The location of the festival comprised of the first block of North 6th Street and only had 11 booths. This two-day event started off with a baseball game between Southeastern Louisiana University and Wisconsin State. Later that day the first annual parade made its way through Ponchatoula with 65 units from all over the state. Estimated attendance for the weekend of the first Strawberry Festival was 15,000. The crowd estimates for 2008 were over 300,000.
Our first royalty court consisted of Queen Sissy Dufreche, King Fred Beachamp, and Princess Sandy Smith. The queen and her court made several appearances on television and radio stations throughout the state to publicize the festival. During his first term in office, Governor Edwin Edwards proclaimed April as Strawberry Festival Month.
From the Strawberry Festival's humble beginning; it has "blossomed" into a Louisiana celebration second only to Mardi Gras in its magnitude. We are the second largest free festival in the state.
Today, the annual festival is organized by the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival Board, Inc. The board is comprised of a chairperson, chairperson-elect, treasurer, secretary, parliamentarian, and other essential positions. Decisions of the festival board are the responsibility of the 16 voting board members who represent the following organizations: Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce, Ponchatoula Jaycees, Ponchatoula Rotary Club, Ponchatoula Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, Ponchatoula Youth Baseball, Champ Cooper School, and the American Legion. The Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival board is a proud member of Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals.
Friday April 9, 2010
4:00 PM Rides Open
4:00 PM Food and Game Booths open
5:30PM Tyler Kinchen & The Right Pieces - South Stage
5:00PM Katie Austin - North Stage
6:30PM Introduction of Royalty
7:00PM Brandon Bennet - North Stage
7:30PM Kayla Woodson & LA Lighting- South Stage
Saturday April 10, 2010
9:00 AM Rides, Food & Game Booths Open
9:30 AM Parade Starts
10:30 AM Weathered - North Stage
11:00 AM Kenny Fife - South Stage
11:30 AM Introduction of Visiting Queens
12:30 PM Egg Toss - North Stage
1:00 PM Strawberry Auction - South Stage
1:00 PM Jenny Brooks - North Stage
2:00 PM Bucktown Allstars - South Stage
2:30 PM Strawberry Eating Contest – North Stage
3:00 PM Todd O'Neill – North Stage
4:00 PM Sack Race – South Stage
5:00 PM Domino’s – South Stage
5:00 PM The Topcats – North Stage
7:00 PM Bag of Donuts – North Stage
8:00 PM Amanda Shaw – South Stage
Sunday April 11, 2010
7:00 AM Strawberry Strut Registration
8:00 AM Strawberry Strut 10 K and 1 mile Run
10:00AM Church Services Memorial Park
10:30AM Race Winners Announced
11:00AM Egg Toss – North Stage
11:30AM Abita Blues – North Stage
12:00 Noon Ampersand – South Stage
1:00PM Strawberry Eating Contest - North Stage
1:30PM Ernest Scott & The Funk Children - North Stage
1:30PM Sack Race - South Stage
2:30PM The Issue – South Stage
3:30PM Mojeaux – North Stage
4:00PM Waylon Tibodeaux - South Stage
6:00PM Festival Closes