A celebration built around the once plentiful strawberry has evolved into a real community celebration that Karen Mangrove likens to a come home year.
It’s just that this one happens every year.
Mangrove is the vice-chair of the Deer Lake Strawberry Festival committee. The festival, now in its 35th year, starts Friday, July 20, and will run until July 22.
Mangrove has been helping with the organization of the event for about six years.
She said people are always asking when the festival will be and plan their holidays to come home around it.
“Because they go down on the field and they see people they haven’t seen,” she said.
“I just enjoy everybody getting together … and seeing their faces.
“It’s just a happy occasion.”
Mangrove said the Strawberry Festival is different from some festivals that only offer entertainment for those over 19.
“We call it a community party, and you’re invited.”
She said there’s a little bit of everything on the field — from food to activities for children and entertainment for all ages.
“We try to please everybody, and we try to make it family friendly.”
To keep the cost down admission to the field is free for those 12 and under, and that includes the Saturday night concert. Kids have to be accompanied by an adult to take in the concert.
The headliner for Saturday night is The Jim Cuddy Band.
While the start is still four days away, Mangrove said the preparation to get the field actually began last week with the setup of tents and booths.
“It’s pretty much all done, except for the finishing touches,” said Mangrove.
That will take place over the next couple of days and vendors will be able to set up during the day on Friday.
Opening ceremonies for the festival will get underway at 7:30 p.m.
Deer Lake Strawberry Festival