CHASSELL - First things first: Yes, there will be fresh strawberries for the Strawberry Festival.
"Right now, the local farmers are stocking the cooler, and we'll be cleaning strawberries on Thursday evening getting ready for the festival," organizer Nancy Leonard said.
And there will be plenty more on top of that at the 62nd annual Strawberry Festival, taking place Friday and Saturday in Chassell.
Gazette file photo
Jugglers on unicycles roll down the parade route during the Strawberry Festival in Chassell last year. This year’s festival takes place Friday and Saturday.
The biggest crowds form for the annual parade, which always includes an assortment of berry-themed decorations.
"It's just amazing - these streets are lined with people, many people deep," Leonard said. "It's a lot of people for this little town."
Strawberry shortcake, brats, hot dogs, ice cream and more will be available at the Chassell Centennial Park from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, then 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday - or until they run out. Cleaning of the strawberries will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Chassell Centennial Park, bringing together community members and Queen candidates alike. The Chassell Fire Department and First Responders will have barbecue chicken after the parade, which usually goes quickly.
The same is true of the fish boil, which takes place 4 p.m. Friday.
"If people want to enjoy it, they're going to have to be there right away, because that's something that almost always runs out," Leonard said.
The Children's Parade starts at 6 p.m. Friday. The evening program, including the Strawberry Queen pageant, the Adult/Youth Citizen of the Year Awards and Strawberry Auction, follows at 7 p.m, concluding with the crowning of a new queen at 8 p.m.
The night concludes at the Chassell VFW Post with a dance starting at 9 p.m., with music performed by Cheap Therapy.
Throughout Friday and Saturday there will be arts and crafts exhibits, as well as a quilt show at Holy Trinity Church and free horse-drawn wagon rides. The Chassell Heritage Center will have an open house. At 2 p.m. Saturday, it will host the Friends of Fashion latest show, "Keepers of the Light: The Corgan Family."
Saturday gets off to an early start with a pancakes and sausage breakfast at the fire hall held by the Chassell High School seniors from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m.
The Country Drifters will play from noon to 3 at the Centennial Park pavilion, followed by an open mic from 3 to 4 p.m. Saturday. At 2 p.m., there will be children's games at the park. From 1 to 4 p.m. there will be free trips aboard the research vessel "Agassiz."
For a full schedule and more information, go to einerlei.com/community/strawfest/home.html.
Garrett Neese can be reached at email@example.com.