Strawberry Fields In Chassell: People flock, feed at berry festival

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette photos Above: Mason Spruce, 7, and Zoey Spruce, 4, of L'Anse, eat strawberry shortcake at the Strawberry Festival Saturday.

CHASSELL — The lure of warm weather and strawberry shortcake proved to be irresistible for thousands this weekend, as the Copper Country Strawberry Festival marked another successful run.

People lined the streets of Chassell.

Things had been very busy Saturday for the Chassell Lions Club, which prepares enough for 3,600 strawberry shortcakes each year.

“Crowds are really good and the weather’s perfect,” said Dan Crane of the Lions. “We had probably record sales of shortcake on Friday, so it’s just carrying over into today.”

The 40 flats of berries — with eight quarts in each — brought in Friday sold out; by about 1 p.m., they were on the last flat of Saturday’s new batch of 30. Crane anticipated selling out of shortcake by about 3 p.m.

The crowd files into Centennial Park in Chassell after the Strawberry Festival parade Saturday.

After Saturday’s hour-long parade, people streamed back into Chassell Centennial Park for food, crafts by 60 vendors, games or rides aboard the Agassiz.

Under the pavilion, people were listening to live music and eating food, such as barbecue from the Chassell Fire Department and the strawberry shortcake, which L’Anse children Mason Spruce, 7, and Zoey Spruce, 4, were wolfing down.

“The shortcake is definitely the highlight for us,” said Char Spruce, their mother. Beyond the shortcake and the parade, she said, they also planned to check out the kids’ games in the park.

The festival also brings back people who come from out of the area. Jon Saterstad, of Redding, California, was eating with his family in the shade. They come nearly every summer to the Copper Country, where Saterstad’s father hails from.

“Last year, we made it to the parade, but not this time,” he said. “It’s nice. A lot of people.”

A float with a message goes by in Saturday's Strawberry Festival parade.

Roy Wakeham of Hancock watched the parade, checked out the vendors and got a hamburger.

“The parade’s nice, and I brought grandkids down,” he said. “I like the parade, too. They put a lot of work into this.”

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette A rider on the Angler & Young Angler Fishing Tournament float reels in a big one during Saturday’s Strawberry Festival parade.