Organizers of the Strawberry Festival will hold their first ever virtual auction to support the festival this June.

The virtual auction and gala will be held from June 16 at 5 p.m. to June 19 on 9 p.m.

Beginning on June 2, however,  individuals will be able to preview the items online and preregister for the auction.

More information and links to the auction can be found at marysvillestrawberryfestival.com when it begins.

“Right now we have over 165 items,” said Gail Frost, president of Maryfest, the nonprofit organization that runs the festival. “Every day we’re going to add a few extra surprise items as well."

Those auction items include gift baskets, trips and event experiences. She said the event experiences include outings such as winery visits and golf trips.

“There is also a guided fishing trip for two anywhere in the U.S.,” said Frost.

Another one of the items will feature the “ultimate NASCAR driving experience,” and give the item winner 10 laps around a speedway in a racing car.

Many of the auction items have been donated from local businesses.

“The response from Marysville businesses has been phenomenal,” said Frost. “They have been wonderful working with us."

The officials sponsor for the virtual auction is the Tulalip Tribes Resort and Frost wanted to thank them specifically as well. 

In addition to the auction items, Lombardi’s Italian Restaurant is offering meal packages for two for $100 and $25 of those purchases will be given to Maryfest to support the Strawberry Festival.

“It is a full-course meal that includes a bottle of wine,” said Frost.

The organization is volunteer run and uses the funds to put on the festival and to provide scholarships to the royalty.

A $5,000 scholarship goes to the queen or king and $3,500 scholarships go to the princess or princes each year.

The royalty and Maryfest also serve as the “only ambassador” for the city, said Frost.

“We promote Marysville and invite people to come to our town,” she said.

Maryfest organizers hope to raise funds this year with the auction.

“Because last year and this year we are not having a festival we haven’t had income coming in,” said Frost, who added they usually receive funds from the marketplace and carnival that are put on.

“We wanted to have some form of income coming in this year,” she said.

The organization isn’t in financial danger, she said, but Maryfest officials would like to come out of the coronavirus pandemic as stable as they can.

“Two years without income has been difficult and we want to make sure we’re in a healthy position for next year,” said Frost.

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