Darby Strawberry Festival; This year marks 77 years of the beloved annual event – Ravalli Republic

Posted: July 8, 2017 at 12:42 am

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The Strawberry Festival is a relaxing evening of music, fresh fruit and community visiting that serves as the annual fundraising event for the Darby Fire Department on July 15.

Fire Chief Chad Harrell said the Strawberry Festival has been happening since 1940.

It is a tradition but we are having a lot of changes this year because Firp (Redman) left, Harrell said. He has been our bluegrass musician for 20 years.

This year the new band is Tin Cup from Connor.

Another change is that the Strawberry Festival usually coincides with Logger Days which is on the following weekend this year.

The Strawberry Festival always happens on the third Saturday in July, Harrell said. Logger Days changed their date but we chose to keep our tradition.

The Strawberry Festival is from 5 to 8 p.m. in the city park, across from Mr. Ts Convenience Store.

Well be selling strawberry shortcake, Harrell said. This year we are not buying strawberries at the store but are using caterer Connie Gallagher, owner of the Darby Mercantile, so everything will be fresh, homemade and local.

Harrell said all firefighters will attend the Strawberry Festival.

Hopefully, having Connie do the catering frees up the firefighters so they can be more social during the event, he said. It seems they are too busy during the event usually and we want them to be able to mingle.

There will not be fire trucks at the festival due to tight parking.

We just ordered a new truck and we were hoping it would be here for the event but it is just not ready yet, Harrell said.

A big draw to the Strawberry Festival is the raffle.

People can purchase raffle tickets at the Bitterroot Community Federal Credit Union, Darby Espresso or at the event.

We try to get all our donations from local vendors, Harrell said. We have Jimmy Harrison from the Double H Custom Hat Company. He donates a certificate for a custom hat.

The Stitch-n-Time quilting group in Darby donated a large quilt that is traditional with a modern edge. It was designed by Meredith Johnson and Brooke Adams and long arm quilted by Carole Vining.

Quilter Paula Nelson said the quilt is a log cabin pattern to celebrate Darbys history in the timber industry.

We are celebrating Darbys history in the timber industry - the beautiful forest as well as the logging, recreation and log home industry, Nelson said. We offered it to the Fire Department in remembrance of firefighter Mike Stark who passed away recently and who valued quilts and got our group making quilts for them a few years ago.

The quilt is on display around Darby and will be at the Strawberry Festival.

It is absolutely beautiful, Harrell said. It is definitely one of the main raffle prizes. It will be moving around town so everyone gets a chance to look at it.

Another key prize is a deacons bench from Jerry Hinman Woodworking.

Hes a retired firefighter who has done that for years and years, Harrell said.

Farmers State Bank donated a $500 gift certificate and the Bitterroot Community Federal Credit Union donated a $200 gift certificate.

Harrell encouraged the community to attend the Strawberry Festival.

Its a good way to meet volunteer fire fighters who volunteer their time and energy and support the community, he said. Enjoy fresh strawberries and a great event.

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Darby Strawberry Festival; This year marks 77 years of the beloved annual event - Ravalli Republic

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July 8th, 2017 at 12:42 am

Posted in Relaxing Music