Straw­berry Fes­ti­val sees a large crowd

Times-Record - - Front Page - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com Fol­low Caro­line/Dorchester Ed­i­tor Dustin Holt on Twitter @Dustin_S­tarDem.

— The threat of rain did not dampen the spir­its for the 38th an­nual Ridgely Lions Club Straw­berry Fes­ti­val Sun­day, May 28.

Ridgely of­fi­cials es­ti­mated more than 8,000 peo­ple vis­ited at Martin Sut­ton Me­mo­rial Park to en­joy fresh food, live mu­sic, ven­dors, a pa­rade and the fa­mous Ridgely Lions club straw­berry short­cake and ice cream.

— The threat of rain did not dampen the spir­its for the 38th an­nual Ridgely Lions Club Straw­berry Fes­ti­val Sun­day, May 28.

Ridgely of­fi­cials es­ti­mated more than 8,000 peo­ple vis­ited at Martin Sut­ton Me­mo­rial Park to en­joy fresh food, live mu­sic, ven­dors, a pa­rade and the fa­mous Ridgely Lions club straw­berry short­cake and ice cream.

The week lead­ing up to the fes­ti­val called for strong thun­der­storms all day Sun­day, but the sun rose, the clouds parted and the lions club got an­other year with dry weather for the ma­jor­ity of the day.

“The weather sure scared us,” said fes­ti­val chair­man Brett Mey­ers. “But we can­not thank the com­mu­nity and all the peo­ple who come to this event each year that make this such a suc­cess. We have just about as many peo­ple this year as we did the last few years, and we are re­ally proud of that.

“The com­mu­nity makes this event hap­pen,” he said. “They came in droves again. It is an amaz­ing crowd that comes out here. We re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate their sup­port.”

The sev­enth an­nual Straw­berry Chase 5k Run/Walk opened the 2017 Straw­berry Fes­ti­val. The run was sup­ported by Ad­van­tage Re­hab Inc., Caro­line County De­part­ment of Recre­ation and Parks, Chin­coteague Pony Res­cue, Del­marva Busi­ness Net­work, Farmer John’s Pro­duce, Ridgely Ele­men­tar y School PTA, Joanne Ship­ley De­signs, Amer­i­can Le­gion Caro­line Post #29, the Me­oli com­pa­nies, the Lions clubs of Caro­line County and the Kent Is­land and Queen­stown Lions clubs.

The flat 5k course took par­tic­i­pants through Ridgely, us­ing the town’s Rail Trail and tour scenic farm land west of Ridgely.

All pro­ceeds from the Straw­berry Chase will be donated to sup­port the Mary­land Ron­ald McDon­ald House and the Caro­line County De­part­ment of Recre­ation and Parks Su­per Sum­mer Day Camp Schol­ar­ships.

At 10 a.m., the other Straw­berry Fes­ti­val ac­tiv­i­ties be­gan with mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment, and food and craft ven­dors. The Straw­berry Fes­ti­val Pa­rade com­menced at noon on Bell Street and ended at Martin Sut­ton Park.

“We have so many or­ga­ni­za­tions that help us put this event to­gether from the Ridgely Po­lice De­part­ment to the Ridgely Ele­men­tary PTA to the North Caro­line Band of Blue to name a few,” Mey­ers said. “We just ap­pre­ci­ate all the com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions that come here each year to sup­port the Straw­berry Fes­ti­val.”

The town of Ridgely is cel­e­brat­ing its 150th an­niver­sary with events sched­uled for the en­tire year.

Ridgely Town Com­mis­sioner An­thony Casey said the Straw­berry Fes­ti­val and the Ridgely Lions Club are ex­am­ples of why peo­ple come to Ridgely.

“Ridgely is very lucky to have great or­ga­ni­za­tions like the Ridgely Lions Club to put some­thing like this to­gether ev­ery year,” he said. “We are very happy to keep hold­ing this event year af­ter year here. The Straw­berry Fes­ti­val is a sta­ple event for Caro­line County.

“This event shows you just how strong of a com­mu­nity we are with so many great or­ga­ni­za­tions com­ing out for the Straw­berry Fes­ti­val,” he said. “The other lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions are able to use this event to raise money for their own causes and or­ga­ni­za­tions. Be­ing able to put money into their pock­ets ben­e­fits the com­mu­nity as a whole. It is a win for ev­ery­one.”

All pro­ceeds raised by the lions club through the fes­ti­val are used to sup­port com­mu­nity service projects and lo­cal char­i­ties. For more in­for­ma­tion about the Straw­berry Fes­ti­val, visit www.ridge­lylions.org or email ridge­lylions@ver­i­zon.net.

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

Maryssa Hall and Haylie Long en­joy some cot­ton candy at the Ridgely Straw­berry Fes­ti­val Sun­day, May 28.

Ivy and Teigen Roe en­joy a ride dur­ing the Ridgely Straw­berry Fes­ti­val Sun­day, May 28.

Shane Schorr, left, Ken­nadi Mill­man and Emily Vaughn en­joy the fa­mous Ridgely Lions Club straw­berry short­cake and ice cream at the Ridgely Straw­berry Fes­ti­val Sun­day, May 28.

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