By Sam Wildow
TROY — The Troy Strawberry Festival will be making its return this weekend to its original format after being canceled for the last two summers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Troy Strawberry Festival was canceled in 2020 and replaced in 2021 with a smaller version, the Strawberry Jam, due to the pandemic, but the full festival will be back this weekend, kicking off with the Strawberry Jam – Hometown Celebration from 5-9 p.m. Friday, June 3.
The Friday before the Strawberry Festival has always been known as the Hometown Celebration, and the event has moved around from the Hobart Arena parking lot to Treasure Island. In an effort to reconnect the community, the Troy Strawberry Festival Inc. board decided to move the celebration back to the historic downtown.
“We have a concert with Hang Time,” said Linda Roth, 2022 Troy Strawberry Festival general chair.
Friday’s event will kick off with a ribbon cutting at 5 p.m., followed by the dying of the fountain. The evening will include events for kids, shopping, and entertainment.
The Troy Strawberry Festival will then open 10 a.m. Saturday, June 4, in the historic downtown Troy and on the Great Miami River levee. An opening ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday on the Greenville Federal Stage — one of three entertainment stages running during the 2022 Strawberry Festival. The stage entertainment schedules are available online at troystrawberryfest.com, and the stages will feature a variety of entertainment, including musical performers, children’s entertainers, dancers, and exercise from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. The other two stages include the Winans Chocolates + Coffee Stage, as well as the Community Stage.
A Tennis Shootout will also be held at the Troy Community Park at 9 a.m. Saturday. Sunday at the Community Park will also feature a Cruise-In Car Show from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Community Park will also be host to the Strawberry Classic Run 5k/10k at 7:30 a.m. Sunday and the Shortcake Special Run at 7:35 a.m. Sunday. To sign-up for any of these events — and more — visit troystrawberryfest.com.
The theme for 2022 is “Peace, Love, & Berries,” about which Roth previously said, “Having grown up in the ‘60s, I have always felt that we could never have too much peace and love and, of course, I love strawberries!”
The festival will feature over 100 arts and craft vendors, as well as over 60 food vendors, in downtown Troy and along the river banks of the Great Miami River. Free shuttles to the downtown area will be available at the Miami County Fairgrounds, located at 650 N. County Road 25-A in Troy, and also at the ITW Hobart Headquarters, located at 701 S. Ridge Ave. in Troy. The shuttles will bring guests to the Miami County Courthouse.
Food vendors will include a variety of strawberry-themed treats, as well as a wide range of other types of food, including Cajun, Korean, hotdogs, donuts, and more.
“We have all types of beverages,” Roth said.
The food vendors partner with or are sponsored by local non-profit organizations to help raise funds for those organizations and their specific missions. The festival has been supporting local non-profits for 45 years.
“They all serve Miami County,” Roth said about the non-profits.
The arts and crafts vendors will also feature a variety of items for sale, including metal items, pre-packaged food, dog treats, wood, ceramics, jewelry, hats, and more.
“Our arts and crafts vendors come from all over,” Roth said. Those vendors and artisans come from throughout Ohio, as well as from Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, and more.
The festival will also continue on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., kicking off Sunday with Declare on the Square at 10 a.m. at the Greenville Federal Stage. A variety of musical acts and dancers will be held on the three stages, with the Community Stage seeing Rec Line Dancing, Zumba, Tammy Bellamy’s School of Dance, McGovern Irish Dance, and Belly Dancing throughout the day.
Strolling performers will also be available both Saturday and Sunday, including stilt walkers from noon to 2 p.m. and the Supafun Band from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
“It’s a family affair,” Roth said about the festival.
For more information and event schedules, visit troystrawberryfest.com.