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June 24, 2010

A Weekend of Strawberries

For one weekend every summer, June 26-27 this year, the quaint town of Cedarburg, Wisconsin becomes the celebration epicenter for the succulent, mouth watering star of summer: the strawberry.  Historic Cedarburg, Wisconsin will be holding what is now their 25th annual Strawberry Festival. The entire town will offer strawberries, and prepare strawberries, in every possible edible way. And 10,000 visitors last year were all the happier for it.

The weekend's activities begin with "The Berry Big Run," a 5k run/walk that begins at 8AM, benefiting  BigBrothers/BigSisters of Ozaukee County.  After the run, the town's streets are open as a Festival Walk of Art, where artists and  vendors from all over the greater Midwest are showcased. There will be artwork, jewelry, music, food courts, boutique style items, handmade toys, and more.

For those who truly love strawberries, there is a strawberry shortcake eating contest, bobbing for berries at the "berry bop," and a strawberry bubble gum blowing contest. A large farmer's market features, of course, strawberries, as well as home grown flowers, fruits and vegetables, jams, jellies, bakery, and soaps.

Have you ever been taken to a strawberry patch where you can pick your own strawberries, via a hayride? Yes, they have that. You can also buy  freshly picked strawberries in bursting full containers. Try one of the many recipes provided at the stands, for new ideas. There is a with make and take crafts, bouncing pits, games, pony rides, and, of course, strawberry popsicles and slushes.

Cedar Creek runs through the town, and these flowing waters are used for the duck races, where you can place your rubber ducky in the water, and see who the currents will boost as the winner. At the bandshell in the town's central park, there will be a "strawberry jam," where 6 high school bands will battle for the title of best of the best in entertainment. Lay a blanket down, and sip some strawberry wine, and enjoy the outdoor music.

The fun continues on Sunday, where last year over 1,000 early risers were served a down-on-the-farm strawberry pancake breakfast. You will also find 2 large food courts, which offer an amazing selection of all things strawberry: strawberry slushes, strawberry crepes, strawberry salsa, strawberry ice cream, and our original bratwursts. You can enjoy unique strawberry wines by the glass, made here at the local winery, Cedar Creek Wines. 

All along the Arts on the Avenue, you will see our Pleine Aire Arts competition, where artists from all over the United States come here to paint outdoors and try for the best of show prize of $2,000.00. This competition is open to children, as well, so bring along your art easels and tools of choice.

Live music is featured in several areas throughout the town, the festival is free and takes place June 26 and 27. Cedarburg is 30 minutes from downtown Milwaukee, and is a place where I can proudly tell you to make sure you have enough room on your camera, because you will see charming photo opportunities everywhere. Once you've been to Strawberry Festival, you will never again be satisfied with "just eating" a strawberry!  

This is an original post for 50-something Moms Blog. You can find Alexandra working at the strawberry salsa booth this weekend, where she will bend your ear on why she loves her small town. She can also be found blogging at her personal blog, Good Day, Regular People, where she writes of life in a small town. You can follow her on twitter.