TROY — Rain clouds looming over Treasure Island Park couldn’t put a damper on the opening festivities of the 2018 Troy Strawberry Festival.
Festival Chairman Eric Roetter welcomed guests to the Troy Strawberry Festival’s Hometown Kickoff Celebration, a chance for locals to have some fun before the festival really gets going.
Moving the Friday night festivities to Treasure Island was a dream come true of Roetter’s.
“I brought the idea to the City of Troy because we’ve spent all this money on Treasure Island, remodeling it, redoing it,” he said. He added that hosting the festival kickoff allowed the city to showcase the park’s amphitheater, river access and space for events.
Friday night fun included the annual children’s parade, which this year took place along the bike path, and the first-ever Crazy Sock Fun Run. The fun run was added to the line-up by Roetter, who was sporting a pair of strawberry socks himself.
“We’re kind of trying to breathe the life back into Friday night,” Roetter said.
Troy Mayor Mike Beamish said he was pleased to see the crowd gathered at Treasure Island Park.
“It’s a good way to kick off the weekend. Beautiful grounds, lots of activity,” he said of the park. “It’s been a vision of mine for years to bring this alive again.”
In keeping with the “Strawberry Palooza” music theme, Friday’s festivities included the beginning of the Homegrown Talent competition, followed by a performance by Velvet Crush.
“’Strawberry Palooza’ being my theme, I wanted to focus a lot more on quality music all weekend long and that’s what I think we’ve achieved,” Roetter said.
Roetter said he is looking forward to the people arriving for the festival Saturday, noting that the Friday night events are “for the locals.”
“I’m excited to see everybody here this weekend. Shop, dine, listen to some music. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner here at the festival,” he advised.
He also recommended parking at one of the festival lots and taking the shuttle downtown.
“It’s free and you don’t have to worry about finding parking because parking is very, very limited,” he said.
Parking will again be available at WACO Airfield, 1865 S. County Road 25-A , Troy, and the Miami County Fairgrounds, 650 N. County Road 25-A, Troy. Only handicapped parking will be available at the Hobart Corp./ITW Food Equipment, 701 S. Ridge Ave., Troy, parking lot.
Shuttles will also be available between the downtown location and the levy.
Reach Cecilia Fox at email@example.com.