Calera Strawberry Festival draws thousands

CALERA – Calera resident Martha Godwin said the city’s annual Calera Strawberry Festival is the perfect kickoff for the summer season.

“There are a lot of free things for children to do and there’s a wider variety of vendors and activities this year than I’ve ever seen here before,” Godwin said.

Godwin, who attends the strawberry festival every year, said getting to socialize with members of the community, and of course, eating strawberries are her favorite aspects of attending the festival.

Every year, the festival is attended by 3,000-5,000 people, said Rebecca Krueger, manager of the Calera Farmers Market. This year the strawberry festival featured more than 50 food and crafts vendors.

“The purpose of this event is to build up the community in Calera and encourage people to get out and meet their neighbors and work alongside them to make the city better,” Krueger said.

Mayor Jon Graham said the strawberry festival gets better and better every year.

“This year the weather has cooperated with us so we’ll probably have an even bigger turnout,” Graham said. “The kids hula hooping is awesome. They go up to the stage and do a little hula hooping while the bluegrass band plays, which it’s always a big hit.”

The event also featured a free kids zone that included inflatables and face painting, and drawings for giveaways took place throughout the day.

“Many of the vendors made contributions for the giveaways,” Krueger said. “We give away 10-15 gift certificates and Market Money coupons.”

Calera police and fire departments were also in attendance at the event. The fire department had a firehouse demonstration set up at the festival to teach residents what they should do if they’re ever in a house fire.

“Stay low and get out,” Calera Fire Marshall Jon Parker said. “The firehouse has been very popular with the kids and some adults, too. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Calera resident Bethany Wiggins said this year’s event might be the best one yet.

She said she enjoys the event because not only can she purchase strawberries, but she can also shop at boutiques and eat good food. She said her daughter enjoys getting a chance to see and play with her friends outside of school.

“My mom and I have come each year since it started and it just keeps getting better and better,” Wiggins said.

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