Hartford gearing up for Strawberry Festival

The Little Smilin’ Choo Choo, operated by Larry Snyder, makes its rounds at a recent Hartford Strawberry Festival.

HARTFORD — The Hartford Strawberry Festival is gearing up for another year of old favorites and new events.

The festival is sponsored by the Hartford Area Camber of Commerce and will take place June 7 and June 8 throughout Ely Park and downtown Hartford.

Festival Chairman Patty Schroeder said this year, the festival has brought back a little train that takes people around the park.

“We used to have it and it was very popular, but we stopped doing it and we heard from people that they wanted it back,” she said.

Schroeder said something else that’s new this year is cardio drumming by Core Life Nutrition at 11 a.m. on June 8.

The annual Strawberry Parade is at 1 p.m. June 8. The Kiddie Parade is at 6 p.m. June 7.

The Friends of the Hartford Public Library are sponsoring pony rides and a petting zoo from 1-3 p.m. June 8.

The Hartford Public Library will sponsor a sidewalk chalk art contest from 10 a.m. to noon June 8 by Ely Park. Later that day, from 4-6 p.m., the library will host a hoola hoop contest, followed by a free pinata in the park for ages 2-10.

“That’ll be fun for the kids,” Schroeder said.

Vertical Edge Entertainment will provide rides 4-9 p.m. June 7 and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. June 8. Attendees can visit food vendors from noon to 9 a.m. June 7 and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. June 8, and craft vendors from noon to 9 p.m. June 7 and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. June 8.

The annual strawberry pie eating contest is at 3 p.m. June 8.

Schroeder said an event the festival committee is always looking forward to is the live music. This year the Schlitz Creek Bluegrass Band, out of Kalamazoo, will close out the festival with a performance from 7-9 p.m. June 8.

Other events during the weekend include a pancake breakfast at the Hartford High School cafeteria. This event is at 7 a.m. June 8 and is sponsored by the Hartford Band Boosters.

The 41st Annual Strawberry Run, sponsored by the Hartford Lions Club is June 8 at Hartford High School. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m., the one-mile Fun Run starts at 8 a.m. and the longer walk and runs start at 8:30 a.m.

For more information and a full schedule of the events, visit www.facebook.com/HartfordStrawberryFest/.

Contact: anewman@TheHP.com, 932-0357, Twitter: @HPANewman