Submitted by Elizabeth Bretschneider
Historically, South Bay Grange was surrounded by strawberry fields. In 1936, on Father’s Day, when the first berries were ripe, the neighbors gathered for a fundraiser dinner to pay for the new hardwood floors. Thus began the Strawberry Festival. This time honored tradition continued for 74 years. Proceeds benefited many 4H, junior grange and Girl Scout troops over the years. They managed the kitchen and bused the tables. The Grange Board thought the tradition had ended when no chairperson was found for a couple of years. Then, in 2012, a children’s theater company began using the grange for rehearsals and they agreed to take on running the festival.
In 2013, the tradition renewed with over 300 strawberry shortcakes served as well as hamburgers, hotdogs and chocolate dipped strawberries. The Grange Board insisted on fresh whipped cream and a no sugar option, both will be available again this year. We will also have Strawberry Lemonade and coffee. Performers came from many local groups: High Impact Dance; Lacey’s Boy’s and Girl’s Club; South Bay area schools and local bands. A real treat for the children was meeting Ariel, King Triton, Scuttle and Sebastian. Who knows who will come this year?
For the 78th Annual Strawberry Festival at the South Bay Grange, we will have more vendors, new performing groups, and reunions to fill the afternoon. We are hoping to include reunions for South Bay Elementary, former Grange Members, etc. The most rewarding part of taking on the event was talking with the “old-timers” and hearing how grateful they were that it was happening again.
There is noadmission fee, but we are supporting a Boy Scout Eagle project. So, please consider donating books to South Sound Reading; A local charity dedicated to improving literacy in our community. If you prefer, you can donate canned goods to fill the shelves at our local Food Bank. The Boy Scouts will do all the heavy lifting and delivering of donations, but we need your help to fill their boxes.
We look forward to another great year of gathering the community. If you would like to organize a reunion, be a vendor, perform, or help serve in the kitchen please contact Elizabeth Bretschneider at email@example.com. See you at the Grange!