With a parade, a talent show, a fashion show, a carnival and much more the Strawberry Festival returned to Marysville last week. This year's festival ran from June 8 to June 16.

Typically the largest celebration each year for Marysville, the festival has become a tradition for many in the community that they spend with their families. 

"I hope this festival means a lot. This is our 88th year and we try very hard to make our community proud and hopefully they enjoy it," said Jodi Hiatt, president of Maryfest, the nonprofit organization that runs the festival.

The Kids Day, Berry Run, Fashion Show and Talent Show all led off the festival early in the schedule.

"I liked all the events I've been to, like the Fashion Show, which had great clothing this year, or the Talent Show," said Hiatt.

Later in the week the Funtastic Carnival set up for the festival.

A Ferris wheel, the Gravitron and other classic rides and carnival games came to the field outside of Marysville Middle School for the carnival.

Many local families come down for each festival for the rides.

“It’s lots of fun, we come here every year,” said local parent Emily Marshall.

“I’ve come for many, many, many years,” said local parent Rosie Anderson. “I have some older kids, too, so I’ve come here for lots of years."

Asbery Field was the center of a lot of activity during the Strawberry Festival, including the Market in the Park, which brought numerous vendors down to the park.

Everything from locally made salsa to henna to karate demonstrations were available at the market.

Local resident Bruce Fuller is new to the area but said he dropped by to check out the market.

“We saw it and just wanted to walk through and check things first,” he said.

“It seems like it’s organized really nice, haven’t found any strawberries yet though,” he joked.

Maryfest volunteers prepared Strawberry Shortcake near the market as part of the annual Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest.

Local kids raced to see who could eat their food the fastest without using their hands as part of the traditional competition.

"It's awesome. My boys were looking forward to it and this is their first time entering, so third and fourth place isn't too bad," said local parent Amanda Bennett.

The Car Show that has traditionally been part of the Asbery Field events returned this year as well.

"It's a nice turnout, a good show," said local Rod Waters.

He said he wished that the show had the typical car show sheets that allow you to write down who you are and what your car is.

"You can go around and you can say 'that's the best engine in the show,' or 'those are some really nice wheels,'" he said.

"Other than that though the show is great," he said.

The Marysville Kiwanis Club ran the beer garden near the market.

“This is one of our annual fundraisers that is probably one of the more profitable ones for our scholarship fund. We’re trying to increase the amount of scholarship funds that we can offer,” said Kiwanis club member Dave Voigt.

Voigt said that they enjoyed helping out at the festival.

“We like being out here, the fellowship with our club members and enjoying the music and the festival energy,” he said.

Finally, the Kiddies Parade and Grand Parade down State Avenue took place on June 15.

The Grand Parade which happens as the sun is setting features floats and marchers from local businesses, schools, kids groups and festival royalty from Marysville and around the region.

"I like the parade part because I get to see all our friends from the other festivals," said Hiatt.

"I've gone to it in the past and it's one of the neatest parades around," said local parent Steve Sawyer.

Families begin placing their chairs along State Avenue a day before the parade to reserve their spot.

Bennett said she comes every year with her family and grabs her spot toward the end of the route.

"We watch it from a place on Third Street, best spot right at the end," she said. "It's a long parade but it's a family tradition every year."

The festival is the result of a lot of work from a volunteer team of community members.

"All of the team, the festival board and the active members, have worked very hard and put in a lot of hours and they've done well," said Hiatt.

She also wanted to thank the community and the city for their part in helping the festival as well.

"Without the support and encouragement that the community gives us it wouldn't be much of a festival," she said.

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