When the WCRK/WMTN Listener Appreciation Strawberry Festival started Saturday morning, there were 300 gallons of strawberries for sale.
By 2 p.m., all of the berries were gone.
Greg Williams of Kodak was one of the distributors who helped sell hundreds of gallons of the succulent berries. He was at the Strawberry Festival for the first time.
“We go down to South Carolina, down by Columbia and into North Carolina, by Ervin. They’re red all the way through. We’ve been getting South Carolina strawberries for 15 to 20 years. I moved down here about a year ago and I’ve been doing it since then,” he said.
Williams said that there is a shortage of strawberries this year because of the wet winter and spring weather earlier this year.
“The strawberry fields here are plowed under,” he said. “A lot of people are doing that. We were going to bring 500 gallons up here, but everybody down south is having a shortage, too. We went to three farms to get these strawberries. We go right to the farm, we don’t go to any state farmer’s markets. We’ll have our peaches later on, too. Everything is fresh,” Williams said.
“We just want to continue doing this as a listener appreciation event,” WCRK/WMTN General Manager Ed Arnold said. “It’s really called the Listener Appreciation Strawberry Festival. We do it to say thanks to our listeners of both radio stations and this is our 15th year of doing that. It wouldn’t be possible without all the people that help us. We have a lot of sponsors and business partners who help us throughout the year. There is live music, arts and crafts, business vendors, strawberries, food vendors, and stuff for the kids.
“It’s really a big event. We’ve had a lot of people pouring in here. It’s been a really good turnout this year. We’re really happy and thankful to the community,” Arnold said.
Meanwhile, there is a lot of planning that goes into the annual Strawberry Festival.
Stephanie Dickerson has been events coordinator at WCRK/WMTN for nine years.
When she was told that all of the strawberries had sold out, she said, “Wow, I didn’t know that. That’s awesome.”
“Around about December or January, I start planning, contacting my vendors from the previous year to see if they want to come back. Then I have to reach out and find new vendors to make it bigger. This event has grown a lot. We went from about 30 vendors to about 100. It’s going to be a great day,” she said.