Looking for a fantastic, family-friendly spring festival? A small Northshore town has hosted Louisiana’s largest strawberry festival since 1972. Last year about 300,000 people visited Ponchatoula to celebrate the harvest of Louisiana’s official state fruit. This year, the free Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival will be held April 3-5 in Memorial Park. The festival features two music stages, a parade, carnival rides, and plenty of strawberry-themed food.
Let’s Talk Festival Food
The Strawberry Festival has other edible offerings, but many of the best treats are made with the belle of the ball—Louisiana-grown strawberries!
Sample strawberry beer, smoothies, and daiquiris. Satisfy your sweet tooth with chocolate covered strawberries, strawberry cheesecake, and strawberry shortcake. There are fresh strawberries with whipped cream for the purists and deep-fried strawberries for the adventurous.
All of the food is made and sold by non-profits. Festival proceeds help support their work throughout the year.
Louisiana Bands Playing The 2020 Ponchatoula Strawberry Fest
The live music at the Strawberry Festival is as locally grown as the fruit. The country stylings of Vidalia open the festival Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. The band is best known for their song “Louisianne,” which plays over the big screen at games in Tiger Stadium. Other Friday night bands include Dirty Work, the Led Zeppelin cover band Mothership, and the high-energy, neon-saturated live show by Category 6, with pop hits from the ‘80s to today.
Music starts at 11:45 a.m. Saturday and includes 61 Suns, Ivory White playing ‘80s and ‘90s covers, MoJEAUX covering funk, Motown and disco hits, country singers Lindsey Cardinale and Chase Tyler, Cajun fiddler Waylon Thibodeaux, and modern country covers sensation Bulletproof.
Sunday music begins at 11:15 a.m. Artists include Ponchatoula’s own Hunter Morse and Katie Kenney, party cover bands The Wise Guys and The Phunky Monkeys, and Ryan Foret & Foret Tradition, offering a southern-fried take on swamp pop, classic country, and R&B. Todd O’Neill closes the festival out.
Other Festival Attractions
What started as a small block party has grown into one of the Northshore’s most anticipated events of the year. Want to meet royalty? The Strawberry Festival Queen and King are introduced Friday night. Saturday fun includes a morning parade and the Strawberry Strut runs. Strawberry-eating contests, 50 carnival rides, egg tosses, and sack races round out the weekend. Before you head home, visit Farmers Row and score a basket of fresh strawberries.
Interested in learning more about the history of Louisiana strawberries? Country Roads Magazine has a great story about the berry’s Hungarian roots in the state.