Monett Strawberry Festival plans are announced

Friday, April 22, 2011
Volunteers serving on the Monett Strawberry Festival Committee are meeting regularly to develop plans for the Strawberry Festival on June 3 and June 4 in downtown Monett. Shown, from left, are: Downtown Coordinator D.J. Miller, Daralynn Horn, George Megelsh and Shaun Bennett. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]

Events and activities for Monett's first Strawberry Festival on June 3 and June 4 have been announced by the organizing committee.

Planned for downtown Monett, the festival will celebrate Monett's historical claim as the strawberry capital of the world with live music, a car show, craft booths and a royalty pageant.

Fourteen sponsors have signed up to support the undertaking. Underwriters include: UMB Bank; U.S. Bank; Meeks Lumber; Friend Printing; Jim Haston with Edward Jones investments; Walmart; Seal-Smart; Commerce National Bank; Talon Communications/ KRMO-KKBL Radio; The Monett Times; Kay's Floral Affairs and Gardens; Wickman's Garden Village; The CPA Group and International Dehydrated Foods.

Shaun Bennett, one of the festival organizers, has announced an art show will be held June 2 to June 4 at 501 E. Broadway. Artwork must be ready for hanging and turned in at Denali Dreams at 316 E. Broadway on May 25 or May 26.

A registration fee is required for adult entries. Late registration will not be accepted. Ribbons will be given in youth divisions. Ribbons and prizes will be awarded in the adult category.

Youth will also be encouraged to enter poetry, prose songs and posters relating to strawberries in Monett.

A car, truck and bike show will be held on June 4 in several locations downtown. Cars will be parked at different sites based on their decade. Ribbons and plaques will be given to winners in each decade. Registration in advance is not necessary. The public will be able to vote on a People's Choice Award for the entire show.

A "Petite" Strawberry King and Queen Pageant will be held for contestants age five and under. Children are encouraged to dress up in strawberry-themed outfits.

Central to the festival will be a celebration of strawberries as food. A contest will be held for the best strawberry preserves, jams, pies, cakes, cookies or any other strawberry-related dish, similar to traditional county fair contests.

Live music will include a concert by Mark Chapman at 8 p.m. on June 3 and the Timberline Bluegrass band at 8 p.m. on Saturday. A karaoke contest will also take place on Saturday.

A play about the history of strawberries in Monett is being written, based on actual accounts of people who grew, picked and marketed the fruit. The play will be performed both evenings. A talent show is also planned. Acts from dancing to singing and juggling will be welcomed. Performance space is open both evenings.

The Fun Zone from Cassville will bring a number of inflatable entertainment centers for children including bounce houses, slides and other activities.

There will be no charge for attending any of the events, Bennett said.

Booth space will be available for businesses and individuals. Informational booths will be available free of charge to not-for-profit organizations. Space is available for Friday evening, all-day Saturday or both at different fees.

Craft vendors are encouraged to bring a wide variety and selection of quality hand-crafted or embellished items for sale. Products not produced by the vendor are not be allowed. Security will be available to vendors leaving their goods overnight. Food vendors will have to have a permit from the Barry County Health Department.

Festival activities will start on Broadway at 5 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. on Saturday. Vendors are encouraged to stay open through the evening concerts.

Details and application forms are available on-line at For more information, contact Bennett at 417-772-7092.

At a recent meeting, committee members agreed more volunteers would be welcome to help with specific activities and generally be available to coordinate events throughout the festival. Interested persons with any amount of time available are encouraged to contact Bennett.

"You'll have a berry good time," Bennett added.

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