POSTED: Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 6:39pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 11, 2014 - 10:46am
PONCHATOULA, LA. (NBC33) — The Ponchatoula community is ready to show off it's favorite berry at the 43rd annual Strawberry Festival. Crews spent Thursday prepping the festival grounds and building booths ahead of the big crowds this weekend.
"We are berry excited. I mean there is so much energy right now. All of our stores are gearing up putting our flags decorating store windows," Gabrielle Palma, Strawberry Queen XLIII, said.
All down sixth street our farmers are getting their booths ready. "
Strawberry farmers use the fest as a chance to show off their delicious berries, and talk to customers.
"To be able to give one on one education to the consumers on buying berries what to look for how to prepare them," Mark Landry, strawberry farmer, said.
It's also an opportunity for people to buy local strawberries in the "strawberry capital of Louisiana."
"Support your farmers. It's very important to support your farmers, so that this industry doesn't die," Landry said.
The fest helps more than the farmers. It's a chance for local non profits like churches and civic groups to raise some money for their programs. They also were on hand Thursday prepping their their tents set up so they can get down to business as soon as the fest starts on Friday.
"Today we are doing the leg work of setting up the booth its the hard part setting up and just getting everything organized. When it comes down to cooking that's the fun part," Veronica Palmer, with Unity Christian Fellowship Church, said.
The fest features rides, games, food, and of course the stars of the festival: Louisiana grown strawberries.
"It's the cleanest family fun you are going to have this weekend," Richie Howes, Strawberry King XLIII, said.
If you're wondering what makes the local strawberries so great just ask the "strawberry experts."
"I think they're the best in the world, and I've ate a few strawberries," Howes said.
For more info on the strawberry fest click here.