Cabot celebrates crops, community with festival

By Angela Spencer Published April 16, 2017 at 12:00 a.m.
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PHOTO BY: Angela Spencer

The Cabot Patch owner Summer High, left, and her daughter Scarlett show off some of the strawberries they have been growing. The Cabot Patch will be one of the three local strawberry growers featured at the Cabot Strawberry Festival this year.

Spring has officially sprung, and folks in and around Cabot who are ready for their annual fix of fresh strawberries are making their way to local growers.

Along with the new crops and sweet snacks that come with local berries, the community is looking forward to the annual Cabot Strawberry Festival. The festival — which will take place April 28 and 29 — is in its 15th year, and organizers are planning a fun, community event.

“The Strawberry Festival is a big deal because it showcases something that’s really special to Cabot, which is strawberries,” said Wendy Bass, vice president of the Junior Auxiliary of Cabot. “We want to celebrate that this is our home. It kind of brings bragging rights to the city.”

The Junior Auxiliary of Cabot organizes the festival and puts it on with the help of sponsors. Bass said there are approximately 30 women in the organization, and the festival is a way to bring pride to the community while raising funds for Junior Auxiliary projects.

“This is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year that allows us to do our service projects throughout the rest of the year,” she said.

Some of the Junior Auxiliary projects include the Backpack Brigade, which provides backpacks for students in need in the Cabot School District; Christmas Blessing, which helps provide Christmas gifts to children in the school district; and Reading 1st, which gives Junior Auxiliary members the chance to read and provide books for all first-graders in the district.

This is the second year the Cabot Strawberry Festival will be downtown around City Hall and the Cabot Police Department, and Bass said organizers are still learning how to best utilize that space.

“We’ve brought back the kid zone, which is called the Berry Patch,” she said. “You do have to pay to get into that area, but it’s $5, and you get a wristband and can go back. They’re going to have all kinds of fun stuff in there. There’s a lot going on with the Berry Patch.”

The Berry Patch will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 29 and will include balloon twisters, face-painting, a photo booth, a coloring contest, pet adoptions and an inflatable obstacle course.

Another change this year is with the Run for the Berries. Last year, the 5K was a glow run at night, but the event has been moved to Saturday morning.

“You can also be a virtual runner this year,” Bass said. “That’s totally new.”

Registration for the 5K is $25, the 1-mile fun run is $15, and sign-up to be a virtual runner is $15.

There will also be more entertainment this year, Bass said.

“This year the entertainment has been extended into Saturday night,” she said.

After local acts perform, Barrett Baber will close out the festival at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

“We’re super excited about that.

Baber is an Arkansas native who plays alternative country and country rock music. He was a contestant on NBC’s The Voice during Season 9, when he finished third in the competition.

Like in past years, the Cabot Strawberry Festival will have vendors, a pageant and — of course — local strawberries for sale from Barnhill Orchards, The Cabot Patch and Holland Bottom Farm.

“They tend to sell out of strawberries fast,” Bass said. “It’s good to get there early.”

Overall, Bass said, it’s going to be a great weekend for the city of Cabot.

“We’re a small community, so anything that brings the community together is really special,” she said. “It brings people in from all over, and because of the vendors, the entertainment, the family aspect, we think it’s special because it allows people to stay in their own hometown and experience all of that.”

For more information on the Cabot Strawberry Festival, visit the festival’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Strawberryfestivalcabot.

Zoned Editions Staff Writer Angela Spencer can be reached at 501-244-4307 or aspencer@arkansasonline.com.

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