For complete weekend festival information, click here:http://www.wwl.com/Upcoming-festivals-and-events-/15729868
The 42nd annual Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival runs through Sunday.
The theme of this year's fest is 'Celebration of the Berry', and they'll be celebrating it in just about every way possible.
"Strawberry shortcake, strawberry pie, chocolate-covered strawberries, fried strawberries, et cetera, et cetera," says Public Relations Director Susan Johnson.
"Strawberry daiquiris, as well," says Johnson. "With alcohol and without alcohol, so there is something for everyone there."
"We have approximately 60 booths, all operated by non-profit organizations."
And, there'll be plenty of non-fruit food, too..."Jambalaya, gumbo, oyster po-boys, shrimp po-boys, sausage and pulled pork."
But, it's primarily a 'Celebration of the Berry,' and Johnson says they don't celebrate the fruit until it's ripe.
"We'll have farmers out there selling their berries that probably were picked that very morning. And that's why you're going to always get a plump, juicy, delicious ripe strawberry."
One of the largest festival parades in the state rolls through historic downtown Ponchatoula Saturday morning at 9:30.
Johnson says the festival is very much a small town, local festival in spite of its spectacular growth.
"It's now a regional, must-do, must-see for many festival goers.
In fact, the annual Strawberry Festival bills itself as the largest free festival and the second largest festival in the state of Louisiana, second only to Mardi Gras.
The festival promises continuous entertainment, great music on two stages all day and night, and more than 50 carnival rides & amusements for all ages through Sunday evening.
There are also strawberry eating contests, egg tosses, sack races, strawberry auctions, and much more.
The Official Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival Grounds are located in Memorial Park in the center of downtown Ponchatoula, although the festival has grown to the point that it's now spread throughout the historic Northshore town.