Friday, April 11, 2014
Lowcountry Strawberry Festival
Boone Hall Plantation ushered in the 2014 Lowcountry Strawberry Festival Thursday with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and a proclamation from S.C. Governor Nikki Haley.
In her proclamation, Haley declared April 10-13 Lowcountry Strawberry Festival Days throughout the state to “encourage all South Carolinians to recognize the importance of this and other local festivals and celebrations to our unique quality of life.”
A framed version of the proclamation was presented to Boone Hall owner Willie McRae before he and Mount Pleasant Mayor Linda Page cut the ribbon, opening the four-day event. Wando’s steel drum band provided the ceremony’s music.
Started in 1997, the Strawberry Festival is a local staple in welcoming springtime to the Lowcountry. Since teaming up with Certified S.C. Grown and the S.C. Department of Agriculture, the festival has blossomed into a leader in celebrating and promoting local agriculture in South Carolina.
“This is one of the highlights of the spring,” S.C. Department of Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers said. “It’s just a sign that spring is here. With the Certified S.C. Grown logo, when you’ve got a place of the caliber of Boone Hall as your partner, you really are proud of what you’re doing. To work with Boone Hall is really a privilege.”
This year, the festival features more than 30 attractions including live music, 21 festival thrill rides, pig races, pie eating contests, a petting zoo, the Little Miss Berry Princess contest and a strawberry recipe contest. The S.C. Department of Agriculture will host an interactive gardening exhibit centered on local farming and U-pick fields will open daily at 9 a.m.
“For Governor Haley to recognize Boone Hall is quite an honor,” said Boone Hall’s Rick Benthall. “This strawberry festival has really grown. The festival has always been and will be always be about strawberries and agriculture and fun on the farm. It’s just a great family event. It’s truly strawberry fields forever.”