Each April, the town of Ponchatoula puts on the state’s largest free festival in honor of the beloved strawberry, The Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival. Here’s what you need to know to plan one sweet trip to the Strawberry Capital of the World.
Festival Facts: The festival will be held April 13-15, 2018, at Ponchatoula’s Memorial Park and North Sixth Street. In addition to rides and live music, Friday night's events will introduce the crowd to the Strawberry Royalty followed by live music. Saturday’s events include the parade, a strawberry eating contest, live music and more. And Sunday wraps up the event with a one-mile, 5K and 10K fun run, carnival rides, food and live music to close out the day.
You’ve Gotta Try: As you’d expect, the festival’s food booths feature a variety of strawberry dishes. A popular choice is the strawberry shortcake, made with fresh local berries. Another must-try: deep-fried strawberries. They’re dipped in what’s described as a beignet batter, deep-fried and dusted with sugar. Sample the cinnamon-flavored ones too.
Belly Up for a Berry-Eating Contest: A Louisiana festival isn’t complete without some sort of eating contest. Strawberry lovers can compete to see who can eat a pint of strawberries the fastest. Entrants are required to eat the entire berry to win, including the stem. Don't miss the two eating contests held on Saturday and Sunday.
Strawberry Souvenirs: Don’t leave without taking home some of the area’s favorite fruits. You’ll find local growers selling their crop along the festival’s Farmers Row throughout the weekend.
If You Want to Pick-Your-Own: Can’t make it to the festival or want to treat your family to a pick-your-own strawberry farm? Nearby Livingston Parish offers a few options, including Mrs. Heather’s Strawberry Patch, Landry-Poche Strawberry Farm and Blahut Strawberry Farm.
Learn more events and festival details at the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival's website, LAStrawberryFestival.com.