Festival’s a go… for now

Strawberry Festival moving ahead

FESTIVAL TO RETURN – West Tennessee Strawberry Festival President Betty Langley (left) and General Chairman Sherry Jo Smith are moving forward with festival planning this year. After last year’s festival was cancelled due to COVID, people from Humboldt are eager to bring the festival back in 2021. Langley said they are working hard to pull off the best festival ever but acknowledged some events may look a little different. Langley and Smith are trying their very best to make sure the Strawberry Festival goes on as planned this year. Save the date – May 2-8.

by Danny Wade

When Strawberry Festival officials were forced to cancel the West Tennessee Strawberry Festival last year, no one knew at the time it was the beginning of a monstrous pandemic cloud hanging over Humboldt, along with Tennessee, the United States and the entire world. Hopes of the Strawberry Festival the first week of May is always the best time of the year here in the Strawberry City.

There were talks of postponing the festival, but that would have been a logistical nightmare trying to get floats, bands, a carnival, live entertainment and other festival participates scheduled. When it was finally announced the festival had been cancelled, it was like the air escaping from a burst balloon.

But 2021 brings a new year and new hope—hope of having a Strawberry Festival this spring.

That hope is alive and well with Strawberry Festival President Betty Langley and General Chairman Sherry Jo Smith. These ladies are determined to move forward with planning this year’s 83rd annual West Tennessee Strawberry Festival.

With the number of COVID cases higher than ever, Langley and Smith know that having a festival this year could very well be a repeat of last year. But that has not stopped them from moving forward with planning. Langley, Smith and Humboldt Chamber of Commerce Events Coordinator Beth Culpepper have been in contact all of last year and held planning meetings already in January. As far as it goes, the show must go on. And if it can’t, they will cross that road if and when it gets here.

Part of the planning was lining up bands to participate in this year’s parades. Some have already confirmed and others are in the process. Scheduling concessions and other components are on the list of things to do.

“We are working hard to pull off the best festival ever though we realize some events may look a little different,” Langley said last week. “We are trying our best to make it happen. Save the date for May 2-8, 2021!”

When last year’s festival was cancelled, it was decided that all of the royalty, dignitaries, honoree and dedication honorees would roll over to this year. That is still the case.

With the Strawberry Festival just a little over four months away, it’s never too early to begin planning. The threat of COVID hanging around is a concern. Hopefully the vaccination and what health officials call the “herd immunity” the country will see the number begin to fall. For Humboldt people, the numbers cannot fall quickly enough. Missing one festival was bad enough. Missing back-to-back Strawberry Festivals would truly be heartbreaking.

President Langley and General Chairman Smith are keeping a positive outlook that the 83rd West Tennessee Strawberry Festival goes on as planned. Only time will tell.

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