Plenty for Entire Family to Enjoy At Martins Ferry Strawberry Festival

Photo by Scott McCloskey Four-year-old Khali Duvall of Beallsville walks around the Second Annual Martins Ferry Strawberry Festival site Saturday wearing her strawberry mascot outfit. Members of her family accompanied her at the festival.

MARTINS FERRY — The Purple City turned pink and red and white all over on Saturday morning as the Second Annual Martins Ferry Strawberry Festival got underway.

Khali Duvall looked “berry” sweet as she strolled down the street. The 4-year-old from Beallsville was all smiles while wearing her little strawberry mascot outfit.

Plenty of other festival-goers were there, too, indulging in traditional strawberry shortcake, strawberry pies and other sweet treats.

Centered around Fourth and Walnut streets in downtown Martins Ferry, the festival began at noon and featured live music, a craft fair, a variety of food vendors, inflatables for children and a car show, according to Chris Cleary, vice president of Project Forward, the event’s organizer.

“We have a massive (Ohio Valley Street Survivors) car show that will be going on here … and we’re going to have four bands performing here,” Cleary said. “For us, the strawberry shortcake, strawberry pies and anything strawberry is here.”

Cleary said Project Forward committee members decided to bring the festival back to the city following a nearly 20-year absence from the community. He said the support for bringing the previously long-running festival back to town has been overwhelming.

“There was like a long-time tradition in Martins Ferry of doing a strawberry festival and then they would donate that money to different charities years ago. … As we formed Project Forward (a nonprofit to help revitalize downtown Martins Ferry following a fire that destroyed several businesses) people said, ‘Hey, we would like to see the strawberry festival brought back.’ So citizens remember it and it has a real history to it,” Cleary added.

He said Project Forward continues to be a force for positive change in Martins Ferry and works for “betterment and development” of the Martins Ferry community. He said the members have focused on making the Strawberry Festival a quality event for the entire family. Proceeds from the one-day festival are used by Project Forward.


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