The Vashon Island Strawberry Festival was first held in 1909, when the island was full of strawberry farms and annually shipped more than 120,000 crates of strawberries. Though the number of strawberry farms has greatly dwindled, the festival lives on. Each year festivalgoers feast on strawberry food and beverage concoctions, such as cakes, ice cream, jam and lemonade. Eating is one of the best things to do at the Strawberry Festival, which will be held this year from July 19th to 21st.
The top 10 things to do at the festival are as follows:
- Take free swing dance lessons on July 21 at 6 pm in front of Sporty’s. Dancing is one of the healthiest activities you can do at a festival full of food and drinks.
- Dine at one or more of the local restaurants. Island Queen is a casual restaurant that is very popular with locals for its burgers. May Kitchen, a Thai restaurant, is also a hit with the locals for its cuisine and cocktails.
- Dance at the Street Dance at US Bank Stage on July 19 at 9 pm and the Street Dance on July 20 from 7 pm to 9 pm nearby the Vashon Liquor Store.
- Purchase art from local artists booths in Village Green. Bring home a souvenir that will not perish.
- Watch the Tom Stewart Classic Car Parade on July 21 at 11:45 a.m.
- Attend the Pancake Breakfast on July 20 at 7 am and July 21 at 8 am. The breakfast is served at the Market IGA parking lot.
- Listen to the live music at the festival. The Strawberry Festival features live soul, country, rock and roll, electronica, and indie music across multiple sound stages during all three days of the festival. Some of the more famous musicians scheduled to perform include: the Portage Fill Big Band, the Adrian Xavier Band, Little Deer, JD Hobson, Danny Newcomb and the Sugarmakers, Nolan Garrett and Elke Robitaille. No matter where you go at this festival, live music will be near you.
- Drink beer at the Strawberry Festival Beer Garden. The beer garden opens at 7 pm on July 19, 12 pm on July 20, and 11 am on July 21. Whether standing or sitting, you will be close by people who share your appreciation for quality beer.
- Watch the Strawberry Festival Grand Parade, which pays homage to veterans, on July 21, starting at 11:30 am, after the Children’s Parade concludes. The parade features floats, marching bands – including a marching ukulele band, animals, and costumed performance artists. Hungry festival-goers can purchase food from eateries close by the parade route. The parade commences in the south of the town, passes through the center of the island and the Strawberry Festival, and ends nearby Ober Park with antique tractors. There will also be special performances held at select venues.
- Eat a variety of foods! The Strawberry Festival offers lots of activities, but none are as satisfying as eating. In addition to strawberry inspired foods and beverages, the festival offers non-strawberry culinary creations, too, such as gyros, tacos, bratwurst and corn dogs. No matter where you go, food vendors will always be near you at this festival.