Weather clears up for 10th Strawberry Festival

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer 

CALERA — Baskets of juicy red berries and family fun awaited those who were patient enough to wait out the weather Saturday, April 24 for Calera’s annual Strawberry Festival at Oliver Park.

After a canceled 2020 event and a 2021 festival that was delayed several hours due to morning rain, people were ready to get their hands on the coveted crop—which sold out in about two hours’ time.

“It ended up being a beautiful day. We had a lot of people come out and just enjoy the day,” said Calera Parks and Recreation Director Seth Gandy. “(The strawberries) made it two hours this year, which is longer than usual.”

Even though about 10 vendors canceled due to the postponement, 50 vendors were set up for the festival, including food trucks, Gandy estimated.

This year marked the 10th year for the festival, a milestone which would have occurred in 2020 had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic. But everybody seemed to pick up right where they left off.

Gandy also said that people seemed to feel comfortable about attending, since the event was held outdoors.

“We had a really good crowd. I think everybody really enjoyed it,” he said.

Calera’s Strawberry Festival was started by a committee made up of residents who were looking to hold a special event involving the entire community. The open days on the calendar happened to fall in the middle of strawberry season.

“It was really about having real good community involvement,” Gandy explained.