The famous Delaplane Strawberry Festival returns on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 for its 26th year. The event, held in the beautiful Virginia countryside at Sky Meadows State Park (11012 Edmonds Lane, Delaplane, Va., 20144) and run by the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, has continually supported over 100 organizations around the world.
Over the past 26 years, the Delaplane Strawberry Festival has raised $712,522 to fund a variety of programs including: Fauquier free clinic, Camp Love, The Boys Home, Fauquier Habitat for Humanity, Hospice, Literacy Volunteers, People Helping People, Leeds Ruritan Club, St. Marc’s Trade school in Haiti, Marshall Fire Department, Fauquier Family Shelter, Clarke County and Fauquier County 4H, Piedmont Dispute Center, Fauquier Community Food Bank, Women of Wonder, Services to Abused Families, and Seven Loaves.
“This two-day festival takes all year to plan! Members of the Emmanuel Church meet monthly to bring it to life,” said church rector Rev. Amanda Knouse. “Over 200 volunteers put in thousands of hours throughout the weekend to ensure it runs smoothly. This festival not only unites us as a church, but also offers us the opportunity to lend a hand to those who could use one.”
Each year 500 flats of strawberries are purchased for the festival, totaling over 10,000 pounds. They are available by the flat or pint, as a sundae, in a pie, or on your funnel cake. While the strawberries are not grown locally, the festival remains a celebration of the spring bounty and the coming of summer. The event also includes live musical entertainment, children’s activities, raffles, food vendors, and crafters. Gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. both days, rain or shine.
Festival participants can visit the 4H petting farm, go for a hayride (over 300 rides given during the festival!), or take a guided tour of the circa-1860 Mt. Bleak House. Children can participate in old-fashioned games (three-legged races, tug-of-war, water balloon tosses, a cupcake walk, and more), ride a pony (additional fee), as well as have their faces painted. Visitors will also enjoy strolling entertainers including Jerry Brown and Django, Danimal the stiltwalker, and Mint Condition Barbershop Quartet. K9OLOGY will have a pool and agility course for your leashed canine friends both days and the Virginia Raptor Conservancy will also be on-site with some amazing birds. The Strong Person Tractor Pull competition is back again this year. Teams of four will pull a tractor 25 meters, quickest time wins! Other events include Strawberry Sundae Eating Contests, Park Ranger Demonstrations, and the Tasting Tent. Stop by the tent to try some local craft brews (additional fee).
Music entertainment on Saturday includes: Americana, Nu-grass and bluegrass band- HENRY; Jazzy classic rock with The Imaginary Blues Band; Enchanting Illusions magician Kevin Owens; The City of Winchester Pipes and Drums; SPOON MAN musical comedy act; and a mix of folk, blues, and Celtic music with Wicked Olde. Sunday’s stage entertainment starts with a Coffee House assortment of folk musicians, The Imaginary Blues Band, Magician Kevin Owens, Spoon Man; and traditional old timey country music, The Butcher’s Family Band.
On Sunday morning at 9 a.m., there will be a 5K Trail Run/Walk to kick off the Delaplane Strawberry Festival that day. The race/walk fee is $25 per participant in advance (until May 20) and $30 after that up until the time of the race, and includes admission for all occupants of the car to the festival for the day.
The per-day cost of the festival is $25 per car at the gate, or $20 in advance (purchase from the website www.delaplanestrawberryfestival.com. All of the activities and events (except pony rides and the tasting tent) are included in the per-car fee and include access to Sky Meadows State Park and the Appalachian Trail. (The Lost Mountain and Turner Pond access to Sky Meadows State Park will be open for normal park use and fees. Go towww.virginiastateparks.gov for more information.)
Sky Meadows State Park is located approximately 55 miles west of Washington, D.C. To get there, take Route 66 west to Exit 23 (Delaplane/Paris) and go approximately 6.8 miles to left on Edmonds Lane and to Sky Meadows State Park.
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