Community, Events, Gales Creek, News

The Gales Creek Strawberry Festival is coming back

The Gales Creek Strawberry Festival will return Saturday, June 15 after a four-year hiatus spurred first by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

The last time it was held, in 2019, was the 53rd annual event to celebrate the historic role strawberries have played in the Gales Creek Valley, once carpeted in fields of the fruit.

2024 will be the 54th Annual Gales Creek Strawberry Festival.

In recent years, the event, traditionally run by the Gales Creek Community Church has been jointly run by the Gales Creek Chamber of Commerce (Disclosure: this journalist founded and was president of the now-defunct Gales Creek Chamber of Commerce and is helping run the Strawberry Festival on a volunteer basis along with dozens of other community members).

The Gales Creek Chamber of Commerce, founded to aid local businesses and later, a group that began aiding other community groups in running local events, voted Thursday, March 28 to disband and send their remaining funds to a successor group, the Gales Creek Community Club, which was officially named so Thursday, March 28 as well.

That group, meeting now since 2023, has partnered already with the Gales Creek Neighborhood Watch to help run National Night Out in Gales Creek last August and the Gales Creek Holiday Bazaar with the Gales Creek Church in November.

Now, the nascent Gales Creek Community Club, which meets in the Gales Creek School Library the fourth Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m., will partner with the church to bring the Strawberry Festival back.

Featuring live music, vendors and farmers market-type stalls, homemade strawberry shortcake, public safety booths and more, the event will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Split between the grounds of the Gales Creek Church and the Gales Creek School, the Strawberry Festival typically draws between 500 and 1,000 visitors and is the biggest summer event in Gales Creek.

The event will also feature at least two food carts serving lunch.

Now, the group is lining up vendors, musicians, volunteers, and, vendor and volunteer coordinator Sharon Parker (Disclosure: my mom) hopes, a petting zoo.

Parker, who has been involved in helping run the festival in some form for decades, is hoping to track down more vendors, someone with access to some form(s) of animals (past festivals have seen horses and alpacas).

Those interested in becoming a vendor, or bringing their animals, or volunteering in a role ranging from parking coordinator to server to person who sings the National Anthem (disclosure: this journalist is on the hook to sing unless another person is found) should contact Parker by phone at 503-332-7675 or by email at [email protected].

More information, including vendor forms and a poster, can be found on the event’s Facebook page.

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Gales Creek Journal and sister news publications the Banks Post and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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