Berries Rock!


By Matt Clevenger

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TROY — The Troy Strawberry Festival is an event that returns annually to the levee and downtown Troy on the first weekend of June.

The festival celebrates its 47th year in 2023, with an expanded DORA area that will include cider and beer sales in the levee area for the first time.

“This year is a first for the festival,” Chairperson Tammy Walkup said prior to the 2023 festival. “This is the first time ever that we will have alcoholic beverages for sale for the Strawberry Festival on the levee side.”

“We will have our DORA footprint extended, so people will be able to buy cider and beer on the levee close to where the levee stage will be,” she said. “The DORA was activated last year, but we did not sell anything, and people could not take their beverages in their DORA cup across the bridge.”

“Berries Rock” is the theme for this year’s festival. It will also feature expanded live entertainment with performances on three separate stages throughout the weekend including live music and the Pop Rocks jump-rope team, as well as Zoomba and belly dance instruction, a pie-eating contest and other activities.

“We’ll have the stage on Prouty Plaza, which is downtown, and then we have the community stage,” Walkup said. “Then we have a larger levee stage where we’ll have musical entertainment running the entire weekend as well.”

Strawberry-themed products, ranging from jam, jelly and pies to doughnuts, salsa and brats will be available throughout the festival, which will include food vendors benefiting local non-profit organizations and over 150 craft vendors. Last year, local non-profits made approximately $400,000 during the festival weekend, Walkup said.

“We usually get over 200,0000 people over the course of the weekend,” she said.

“Last year (in 2022) was just insane, I think because it was the first huge festival that we had post-COVID,” Walkup said. “We were slammed, and the non-profits ended up really benefiting.”

The festival starts with the Strawberry Jam from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. downtown on Friday, June 2, 2023, featuring live music, kids’ activities and special evening hours at local shops and restaurants. A limited number of Strawberry Festival vendors will also be open.

“It’s a fun event,” Walkup said. “We will be dying the fountain red that night; we’ll have a ribbon-cutting for the 2023 festival.”

“The Strawberry Jam is geared more towards the community,” she said. “We don’t advertise it a lot; we try to make it about local people.”

The full festival kicks-off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 3, and will be open until 9 p.m. The festival will re-open at 10 a.m. on Sunday and close at 6 p.m.

Special events will include the Little Mr. and Miss Pageant, the Superkids obstacle courses at the stadium, a tennis shoot-out, a 5K-10K run and the annual car show and cruise-in held at Troy Community Park. Registration information for special events is available online at

“We have two shuttle locations,” Walkup said. “One is at the fairgrounds, and one is at ITW; people can park and catch a ride downtown.”

Pepsi is an official sponsor for this year’s festival; community investors include Clopay Building Products, Premier Health/Upper Valley Medical Center, ConAgra Foods and Kettering Health and Dungan and LeFevre. Executive circle investors include First Financial Bank, Collins Aerospace, AES Ohio, US Bank, Hobart Brothers/ITW, Superior Credit Union, Pella and Korrect Plumbing.

The festival originally started by the Troy Chamber of Commerce in 1977.

“It just keeps growing,” Walkup said. “What started out as a small idea to help non-profits has turned into what it is today.”

“It’s just gotten bigger and better every year,” she said.

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