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Strawberries take the spotlight at local LaSalle festival

Vendors at Strawberry Fest pose for photo

The Avalanche, the Monkey Maze and the Jumping Jumbo amusement rides all made their appearance at the annual LaSalle Strawberry Festival this past weekend but they were upstaged by the headliner, delicious local strawberries.


“Being our 36th year, it’s become a tradition and a kickoff for summer. It’s a great family event, people come for strawberries and ice cream,” said LaSalle manager of culture and recreation Scott Bisson.


A few years ago, the festival was held on Front Road but the switch over to the Vollmer Centre certainly has its benefits. Bisson said there are five parking lots around the complex and the location does not disrupt other parts of the town.


The festival officially kicked off Wednesday night with over 130 volunteers showing up to wash the strawberries which, along with delicious Canadian-made ice cream was served up to over 5,000 hungry visitors over the course of the festival.


While the LaSalle Strawberry Festival is a town-sponsored and run event, the most popular tent where the strawberries were being dished up was manned by the Life After Fifty Club out of Windsor.


“It’s exposure for us. We have a lot of people coming in. Life After Fifty is selling crafts that they made and the proceeds go back to our centre,” explained marketing director Lora Kane.


As volunteers from that group were busy cutting up and serving the festival staple, there were lots going on throughout the amusement park area as well as the vendor market which, according to Bisson, featured nearly 50 very unique vendors.


“We have a lot of the same old good stuff. New this year is Crusher BMX, they do a lot of great tricks,” said Bisson.


A fireworks display on Friday night, the well-attended and popular parade Saturday morning and a Taylor Swift tribute concert on Saturday night were all part of this year’s festival.


Things kicked off early on Sunday morning as the LaSalle Police Service co-hosted a youth fishing derby and later in the day a Mascot Dance Off Party. A sensory friendly hour was set aside in the morning in which there was limited lights and noise.


In the past, the LaSalle Strawberry Festival has been recognized as one of the top events by Festival and Events Ontario.

Strawberries take the spotlight at local LaSalle festival

By Fred Groves

 

 

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