Poteet Strawberry Festival
Friday, Apr 13, 2018 – Sunday, Apr 15, 2018
9199 N State Hwy, Poteet, Texas 78065
PRICE: $5 (Friday), $15 (Saturday-Sunday)
Poteet is on Farm Road 476 and State Highway 16, twenty miles south of San Antonio in north central Atascosa County. It was named for its first postmaster, Francis Marion Poteet. In 1896 Mr. and Mrs. Henry T. Mumme settled in the area. They would develop the land by opening a general store and building artesian wells. This would attract other farmers and the town began to grow.
In 1918, Mumme met Gustav Aigner, an experienced strawberry farmer, at the San Antonio Produce Market. Two years later Aigner relocated his family to Poteet, where he successfully grew Missionary Strawberries, which rapidly became one of the town’s major crops and its claim to fame. The town became known as the “Strawberry Capital of Texas.” Poteet strawberries are renowned for their amazing sweetness.
In 1948 the Poteet Rotary Club organized the first Poteet Strawberry festival in an effort to provide returning world war II veterans an incentive to return to the farms and to promote and improve their strawberry crop. The festival was held on the second week of april. The festival was deemed as a success with more than 5,000 people attending the festival.
Today, more than 70 years later, the Poteet Strawberry festival is now a popular yearly event. It’s primary purpose is still to Promote Poteet’s premier strawberries. The festival has also become a major economic generator for South Texas and Atascosa county, generating an estimated $10-$12 million. In addition, the annual berry fest is now a major tourism attraction drawing more than 120,000 visitors for the 3-day celebration.
71st Poteet Strawberry Festival
This year, the 71st Poteet Strawberry Festival will be held from April 13- 15, 2018. The highlights of the festival will be 14 areas of concert stages featuring concerts with nationally known Country Western and Tejano stars, regional bands, and a variety of family-oriented shows. There will also be carnival rides, various contests, a petting zoo and rodeo performances. You’ll discover amazing strawberry concoctions at the Taste of Texas Food Show, while the kiddies enjoy stuffing their mouths in the children’s strawberry-eating contest. All food vendors are non-profit and proceeds from all food sales will benefit the Poteet Strawberry Festival Association (PSFA) scholarship funds.
Gate admission on Saturday and Sunday will be $15. Admission for children under age 12; military (active duty, reserve and retired) is free. While, parking on the grounds is always free throughout the festival.
Strawberry Festival’s Parade
The Poteet Strawberry Festival’s Annual Parade begins the Saturday’s festivities at 10 AM. This year’s Grand Marshalls, Bob and Kelli Phillips, the co-hosts of Texas Country Reporter, will lead the parade as floats, bands, marching and riding groups. make their way through the downtown area and residential areas. The parade route will begin at the corner of FM 1470 and School Drive.
Concert and Dances
This year’s musical performers will include country western acts and Tejano bands like Bree Jimenez, Tanya Tucker, Little Texas, Kevin Fowler, Natalie Rose, Foghat, Jaime y Los Chamacos, David Lee Garza y Los Musicales, Ramón Ayala, Los Invasores de Nuevo León, and the Doo Wah Riders.
There are also dances and live music that will appeal to just about everyone with country, Tejano, conjunto, Texas style, good ol’ dancin’ and blues music.
The Main Event – Strawberries
The highlight of the festival is the strawberry judging contest and auction on Saturday afternoon. Growers within the Atascosa County would bring their best crop to compete and to be judged as the best strawberry of the season. The winning strawberries will be auctioned off.
Strawberry growers will also have stalls to sell their produce, but the demand is usually high, with so many festival visitors. Visitors can also visit the strawberry growers’ farms in the Poteet, some of them allow visitors to pick the berries fresh from the farm.
Proceeds from the festival will be used to fund local scholarship programs. The Poteet Strawberry Festival Association (PSFA) has established a Scholarship Program by which local young people could attain a higher education.
Each year the Festival funds approximately thirty scholarships to Poteet graduates. The Association alone donates at least ten scholarships each year. Most of its seven member organizations donates from two to four scholarships each year and many of the thirty or so non-profit church, school and civic organizations that operate food booths on the Festival Grounds donate scholarships as well.
Poteet and their strawberries have gone a long way. What started as berries growing in Mrs. Mumme garden would become a famous produce and the pride of Texas. Just as they were first introduced to the public in 1921, Poteet’s strawberries continue to delight tourists and draw crowds in this small quiet town. For more information on Poteet strawberry Festival visit http://strawberryfestival.com