It’s the one weekend of the year you either look forward — or you plain dread it.
It’s the 40th annual Troy Strawberry Festival, folks.
Now, the festival has undergone numerous changes throughout the last few years.
From its humble beginnings on the levee to its expansion to downtown, the festival brings thousands of people in our city for 48 hours.
And during those 48 hours, those people bring money and an appetite.
But, it is within these crucial 48 hours that our local children and hard working organizations have come to rely on. Each time you buy a Black Jack pork chop sandwich (my festival favorite), you are paying for a Miami East cheerleader’s uniform. Each time you buy a sack full of strawberry flavored popcorn, you are paying for a Boy Scout Troop to camp or for an Eagle Scout project to benefit our community.
Each time you buy a jar of strawberry salsa from The Future Begins Today, you are sending kids to college or helping them with their homework. Each time you buy a jar of strawberry BBQ sauce from those friendly folks at the Troy Noon Optimist club, you are not only coating your ribs with amazing, mouthwatering yumminess, you are paying for trophies for the best-costumed kid at the Halloween parade this fall. Top off the meal with a The ARC of Miami County strawberry burrito, and you are helping a special needs adults pay their weekly bowling league with their friends. And the strawberry doughnuts, people. That sends kids to band camp and instruments and music for the Troy City School kids.
Earlier this week, the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce’s strawberry festival guru Corie Schweser and festival chairman Nathan Walters kindly dropped off a huge basket full of everything strawberry before the festival hits the ground running.
I happened to be out of the office when the basket of goodies arrived. Let’s just say not much was left by the time I returned to the office.
There were a few jars of the Knights of Columbus and Boy Scout Troop No. 365’s Strawberry Pickles sitting on the conference table. Now, I love pickles. My grandma Norma Jean used to can her own pickles and I’d eat them straight of the Mason jar. She, of course, won a blue ribbon for pickles at the fair.
Needless to say, I’m a pickle person.
Anyhow, David Fong challenged me to try the strawberry-infused pickles and I didn’t bat an eye. Resident foodie Cecilia Fox had turned down a second bite and declared she was not a fan. We had Fong try the pickles for the first time live on video and posted it to the Troy Daily News Facebook. He gave them a great review and the video was enjoyed by many. So next year, be sure to drop off your goodies and we may just help spread the word while we stuff our faces.
As for my personal review, I found the strawberry pickles sweet, yet sour. Just how I like them. Be sure, they are ice cold and maybe pour the juice in some sort of salad when the pickles disappear. Give them a shot. If you like them, you win. If you don’t, pass them on to a more brave soul who has more malleable taste buds.
It’s the year of the pickle people! Get out and enjoy the food, fun and festivities.
“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. Come say hello to her this weekend as she stands in line for her annual Miami East Cheerleaders’ pork chop sandwich.