TROY — Crowds flocked to Troy to soak up the sun and savor everything strawberry on Saturday afternoon.
The 42nd annual Troy Strawberry Festival kicked off its “Strawberry Palooza” themed event as General Chairman Eric Roetter and family officially dyed the Public Square fountain red in honor of the weekend’s festivities.
Roetter welcomed the crowds to the festival during the grand opening Saturday morning on Prouty Plaza.
“I’m very excited for a weekend of entertainment, fun, food, and fellowship,” Roetter said. “Have your breakfast, have your lunch and have your dinner while you listen to music all day long. Don’t forget that all of our food booths at this festival help out all the nonprofits in Miami County. Every food item that you purchase at the Troy Strawberry Festival supports those nonprofits organizations. Have a great day, it’s going to be beautiful.”
Roetter said vendors had steady crowds all day Saturday.
Officials reported six people were treated for minor heat exhaustion, but no other major incidents were reported.
Mayor Michael Beamish led the countdown to the fountain presentation. Mayor Beamish thanked the crowds for attending the festival to support the dozens of nonprofits in Miami County.
“We continue to pray for great weather this weekend,” Beamish said.
The 2018 Troy Strawberry Festival Queen Brooke Klopfenstein wowed the crowd with the “Star Spangled Banner” during the opening ceremonies. Kloffenstein is a graduate of Troy High School and won the queen’s contest last month.
Troy Area Chamber of Commerce Festival Manager Kailey Pour, took to the streets with the popular Berry mascot. The pair greeted children and posed for pictures as they strolled around the festival site.
“We are so blessed to have the sun shining today. The crowds have been great and we hope everybody has a great time,” she said.
Lines were already forming well before noon as festival-goers searched for their festival favorites.
Rosemary Saunders, an organizer with the Arc of Miami County booth, shared how the profits from their famous strawberry burritos is their major fundraiser of the year.
“It keeps us going and pays the bills all year long, which that makes it possible for us to continue advocating for those who have disabilities,” she said.
The funds also help cover expenses for the Arc’s bowling league, outings and other special events. The booth is located in the southwest corner of the Public Square.
With the heat of the day, dozens of patrons lined up for a strawberry lemon shake-up from the Troy Rotary organization. Rotary president Andrew Wannemacher said the festival funds the organization’s various civic projects and helps support the Lincoln Community Center throughout the year.