Severe weather could affect Baldwin Strawberry Festival turnout - FOX10 News | WALA

Severe weather could affect Baldwin Strawberry Festival turnout

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This weekend is the 31st Annual Baldwin County Strawberry Festival held at Loxley Municipal Park.  The festival has been growing every year and this year, more vendors signed up than ever before.  Mixed with the excitement is some concern over the possibility of severe weather moving in Saturday afternoon, April 14, 2018. 

Loxley Municipal Park began its transformation Friday into one of the most popular festival sights on the coast.  Now in its 31st year, the Baldwin County Strawberry Festival is a favorite for visitors and vendors alike.

“I love the festival.  I love the layout and the simplicity of being able to have your trailer right behind your booth,” said Wilder Burlison with Crafts and More.

“We’re from Mobile so we have a lot of people in the area that are familiar with us and they come looking…looking for the fudge,” said Cindy Brinkman with Papa Lou’s Homemade Fudge.

On a good-weather weekend, organizer said between 40,000 and 60,000 visitors come to the festival.  With questionable weather this year, attendance is expected to be down.  Because of that, only 500 flats of fresh strawberries were ordered instead of the usual 800.  The number one draw remains the shortcakes and they expect to sell more than 4,000 of those.  Money raised all goes to a good cause.

“The Strawberry Festival is a fundraising event.  This was started 31 years ago by Baldwin ARC and Loxley Elementary so at the end of the festival, the proceeds go to those two organizations,” explained festival organizer, Greg Walker.

The weather might get in the way of some of those efforts this weekend.  With some strong storms likely, vendors are making extra efforts to secure their booths.

“We are making sure we anchor down a lot better just because the winds are supposed to be high Saturday night,” said Richard Beasley with Ivy Mist Candles.

“Stake out.  Put your tents down.  We’re going to double our weight,” Burlison added.  “Probably go to maybe 80 pounds per leg.”

The festival hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  The event is free, but parking can get tough.  Organizers suggest getting there early or coming later in the afternoon if you want a closer parking space.  

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