Unhappy With This Year's Strawberry Festival



This is regarding the Strawberry Festival, held in Strawberry recently. This was a huge botched-up wannabe festival. It was more like a carnival with mostly cheap junk and, incidentally, there were some vendors who were smoking. I guess the big sign that read "Fire Danger: No Smoking in the Open" didn't apply to them.

I was told by the Chamber office that the festival ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Not true. We got there at 9 a.m. and were told it didn't start till 10 a.m.

Now, the Internet also said 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. We drove for 1.5 hours to get there and then were charged $5. For what? To walk in three inches of dirt, with everything so spread out and vehicles driving all over stirring up the dirt and gritty food to boot?

Now, I would have expected more of a Strawberry theme, like last year in Pine. That was well organized and they had more items you'd expect to see at a "strawberry" festival.

It was a dirty, dusty, buggy affair, not to mention the fact if someone was on oxygen and had to pull a tank with them, it would have been terrible and almost impossible. There were no handicapped provisions.

We did notice one vendor who had put a tarp down as a floor for his display, as he also was not too happy with all the dirt, since he had food items.

We had bragged about last year festival to our friends and decided to take them to this year's festival. It was really quite embarrassing, to say the least, and after a while we left and went to Camp Verde for something to eat.

Also, what in the world does a "shoot out" have to do with a Strawberry Festival?

That was the worst $20 we have ever spent and, again I say, give it up and have it back in Pine next year, where it was a pleasure. At least they had strawberry items for sale, like T-shirts and cute kitchen towel sets, just to name a few.

This wannabe festival was a big, dirty joke, lacking organization, to say the least.

Rita Swengle, Cordes Lakes

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