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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Parade float depicting Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, May 7, 1999
Parade float with the theme Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs entitled "Reflecting on a Berry Happy Ending," May 7, 1999 Photo: Dieter C. Ullrich

West Tennessee Strawberry Festival

In April 1934, the first West Tennessee Strawberry Festival was held in Humbolt to promote the region's high-quality strawberries. The first festival, which was lightly attended, featured a parade, baseball games, hot-air balloon rides, and contests held in the old Humbolt High School gymnasium. A major event was the election of the festival queen and her court.

The following year the festival was much larger, and locals claimed it as the "Greatest Strawberry Show in the South." The festival featured two parades, a horse show, a grand ball, musical and vaudeville acts, industrial and commercial exhibits, and multiple firework displays. In 1979, a Strawberry Festival Historical Museum opened, which later moved into the restored 1912 city hall.

Each year the festival has presents spectacular parades and activities. Among notable festival events have been a Civil War re-enactment of Nathan Bedford Forest's 1864 raid through the town, and the Budweiser Clydesdales in 1992. More than 100,000 visitors attended the 1999 festival, which included fireworks, a picnic, a carnival, junior and grand parades, a pet parade, a walking horse show, a car show, and a strawberry recipe contest.

Documentation includes a 1999 souvenir program booklet, magazine articles, and photographs.

Originally submitted by: John S. Tanner, Representative (8th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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