TROY — You can never have enough peace, love or strawberries.
On Monday, 2020 Troy Strawberry Festival Chairwoman Linda Roth unveiled her theme for the 44th annual festival at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center. The Troy Strawberry Festival will be held June 6-7 next year and draws more than 200,000 visitors to downtown Troy each year.
“Having grown up in the ’60s, I’ve always believed that we can never have too much peace and love in the world. And of course, I love strawberries,” Roth shared.
A student in the 1960s, Roth shared how peace was a theme in her life as a college student at West Virginia University.
“I grew up in the ’60s and peace has been something I wanted. I voted for John Kennedy and that was part of what he promoted. And love is universal and I love berries in any way, shape, or form,” she shared.
In 2020, the festival will extend its hours. On Saturday, the festival will open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Festival organizers also are bringing back the car show. Friday night’s annual hometown celebration will be held in downtown Troy with a “Strawberry Jam” concert.
Roth said serving as festival general chairman was “something I never thought I’d do in 100 years,” but said it was the icing on the cake of her volunteer work with the festival, which has always been a family affair.
“I am a volunteer at heart,” she said.
Roth has been involved in the Troy Strawberry Festival on and off since the early beginnings of the festival.
“I was a Girl Scout leader and we did the parades and we did the children’s area,” she said. “I took a hiatus because Kathi had gone to school. (Grandson) Zachary (Roetter) was the Lil’ Mr. Strawberry in 1999 and that’s when Kathi and Eric starting helping with it.”
Roth said she became involved again assisting her daughter, 2014 general chairwoman Kathi Roetter with the Super Kids, Duck Race and Arts & Craft Committee. In 2014, Roth took over the duties of the Arts & Crafts Committee, which she chaired for three years.
She and her husband Lee live in Troy and are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Linda retired after 30 years of teaching at Miami East Local Schools.
In addition to volunteering with the Troy Strawberry Festival, she has given her time to the Friends of the Library, Miami County CISV and the local chapter of Altrusa International.
The festival committee is led by the general chairman or the “Berry Important Person” of the Troy Strawberry Festival. The committee is led each year by a general chairman who is elected by past chairs. The general chairman chooses a committee of volunteers to assist with planning and implementation of the events. The 2021 general chairwoman will be Tammy Walkup and the 2022 general chairwoman will be Jules Conner.
For more information, visit www.gostrawberries.com.