PONCHATOULA, La. (WGNO) — Louisiana’s largest free harvest festival will kick off once again in the Strawberry Capital of the World this spring. That’s right, we’re talking about the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, sponsored by WGNO!
This year marks the 51st anniversary of the first Strawberry Festival that kicked off in 1972. Back then, the parade was operating on a $500 budget and brought in about 15,000 people. Today, the parade now welcomes an estimated 300,000 visitors with a $300,000+ budget. Talk about humble beginnings!
WGNO staff will be live at the parade at 5 and 6PM on Friday, April 14. Stop by and say hi!
In the meantime, here’s a look at what you can expect at this year’s Strawberry Fest.
Strawberry Festival Parade
SATURDAY, APRIL 15TH AT 9:30AM
FRIDAY, APRIL 14
- 5:30-7:30 PM Clay Cormier & The Highway Boys
- 8:15-10:15 PM Souled Out
- 5:00-7:00 PM 3rd Street Band
- 7:45-9:45 PM Yeah You Right Band
SATURDAY, APRIL 15
- 11:00 AM Strawberry Royalty Introduction
- 1:45 PM Parade Winner Announcement
- 1:45-2:15 PM Strawberry Eating Contest
- 11:45-1:45 PM Ferg’s Highway
- 2:15-4:15 PM Beaucoop Boogie
- 4:15-4:30 PM Egg Toss
- 5:30-7:45 PM The Dominos
- 8:30-10:30 PM Dukes of Country
- 12:30-2:30 PM Lindsey Cardinale
- 3:00-5:00 PM The Eighty’s Experience Band
- 5:30-7:30 PM Thomas Cain
- 8:00-10:00 PM Parish County Line
SUNDAY, APRIL 16
- 9:00 AM Church Service
- 11:00-11:15 AM Egg Toss
- 11:30-1:00 PM Nashville South
- 1:00-1:30 PM Strawberry Eating Contest
- 1:30-3:30 PM No Idea Band
- 4:00-6:00 PM The Phunky Monkeys
- 11:00-12:30 PM Will Vance
- 1:00-3:00 PM Peyton Falgoust Band
- 3:30-5:30 PM Tyler Kinchen & The Right Pieces
Rides and Tickets
Here’s the ride schedule for Strawberry Fest:
- FRIDAY, 4/14: 12PM – 10:30PM
- SATURDAY, 4/15: 9AM – 11PM
- SUNDAY, 4/16: 10AM – 6PM
Officials say it can cost between three and five tickets to ride. Tickets will only be sold on festival grounds and are $1.50 for one, or $30 for an armband.
Armbands can only be used on Friday from 12-5PM. All other times will require tickets.
Strawberry Eating Contest
What would Strawberry Fest be without the classic strawberry eating contest? Taking place on the north stage (see map above), hungry festivalgoers will unite for a fresh taste of spring and summertime.
- SATURDAY, 4/15: 1:45pm
- SUNDAY, 4/16: 1:00pm
- El Paso FBI agents first in Texas to wear body cameras for arrests, searches
- RPSO detectives investigate inmate suicide
- Senate Democrats call on US regulators to examine PGA Tour, LIV Golf deal
- Starbucks brings newest coffee line to 11 more states: Where to find it
- LDWF: Northern Snakehead fish found in Concordia Parish