Two community events are teaming up on the first weekend of summer to celebrate local student artists, announcement of St. Croix Valley Community Foundation grant recipients, unveiling of a special student-designed postmark, strawberry shortcake-eating contest and a chance for the St. Croix Valley communities to come together to celebrate a “berry” rich heritage.
The 131st Afton Strawberry Festival is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in Town Square Park and on the St. Croix Trail in downtown Afton and is held in lieu of the Afton May Fair.
The festival honors the long, rich heritage of strawberry crops grown in the area since the 1800s. This free event features art vendors showing and selling their goods, European-style flea market vendors selling second-hand treasures, food vendors and a business expo.
Artists and vendors will be located in the city park and all along the quaint St. Croix Trail boulevards.
The Afton Historical Society and local businesses will also participate by offering special strawberry activities and promotions. The annual Strawberry Festival Dinner, prepared by and served at Memorial Lutheran Church of Afton, is Saturday. This event features all-you-can-eat, locally grown, fresh strawberries. The Strawberry Festival Dinner has been celebrated at Memorial Lutheran since 1883.
The U.S. Postal Service will unveil a special postmark marking the festival at 11 a.m. Saturday. Afton-Lakeland Elementary School sixth-grade students submitted artwork in a contest to determine the postmark design.
The Afton Area Business Association is joining this long-standing tradition and expanding the Strawberry Festival throughout the village. Check out www.aftonstrawberryfestival.com for a complete list of activities.
There’s nothing better than a ripe, juicy, locally grown strawberry. Memorial Lutheran Church of Afton features the berries at its annual strawberry festival, this year celebrating its 131st year. (Submitted photo)