81st annual Strawberry Festival brings crowds to Humboldt

HUMBOLDT, TN (WMC) - The streets of Humboldt in Gibson County were filled with smiling children and families attending the 81st annual West Tennessee Strawberry Festival.

The West Tennessee Strawberry Festival parade on Friday brought out cute kids in strawberry attire and beauty queens in Cadillacs!

"This is my sixth year being here," said Miss Historic Union City Bre Williams. "I've been doing this pageant since I was eight. It's my favorite festival of the whole year."

There were Shriners in crazy cars, and since it's an election year, politicians were also out and about.

"If you're elected Governor, what's your stand on strawberries?" Joe asked candidate Bill Lee (R).

"I'm going to eat as many as I can!" Lee said. "They're awesome, aren't they?"

Well, if you can find one. The 2-hour parade had 10 marching bands and endless floats, but there was one key item in short supply: the strawberries!

"Strawberries are not as plentiful as they once was," said festival official Michael Longmire. "This used to be a strawberry capital if you will. Not so much anymore. It's just getting harder and harder to grow them with the way our climate's changing."

"You can go right outside Milan, which is part of West Tennessee," said Humboldt resident Jean Hunderup. "There's a strawberry farm called Green Acres."

Strawberry Festival certainly brings a juicy boost to Humboldt's economy:

"Look at all the people that's here," said Humboldt resident Randy Shaver. "It's probably going to be a record. I see a lot of people here."

But sadly, not a lot of the pretty red fruit. It wasn't until Joe stopped by a booth selling strawberry-filled Twinkies and sliced berries in a sweet sauce:

"Sir, you have just made my day!" Joe said.

Click here to learn more about the festival.

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