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The berry best time of year

Posted on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 10:59 am

By NATALIE MILLER

H-P Reporter

Sunny skies made for another bustling Ashland Strawberry Faire June 3. The 35th annual Faire attracted familiar faces and new visitors to Randolph-Macon College’s campus, where tents and trucks hosted shops and vendors.

Residents and visitors browsed over 300 vendors and tasted Faire snacks provided by local organizations and businesses.

Local vendors displayed handmade soaps, wreaths and artwork throughout the day. Guests could get their faces painted, or have ornate henna designs drawn on their bodies.

Lisa White, a Chesterfield resident and owner of the business Henny and June, sold her handmade jewelry at the Faire Saturday. Henny and June is named after White’s children, and includes wedding and themed jewelry.

White’s father-in-law, Luther White, was president of Randolph-Macon College from 1967 to 1979.

“Ashland has a special place in my heart,” White said.

The Strawberry Faire has grown considerably since the Ashland Berry Farm owners started event in 1982. Lynn Gustafson, co-owner of the Ashland Berry Farm said she and her husband look forward to the Faire every year. Gustafon’s husband originally came up with the idea for the event and serves on the board every year.

“It’s fun seeing all the people we see a lot of people we’ve known or who have worked for us over the years,” Lynn said during the Faire.

The Ashland Berry Farm sells strawberries by the bucket and basket at the Faire.

According to Gustafon, the Berry Farm buys the strawberries from local vendors to sell at the Faire, as strawberry season is usually over in Virginia by June.

“A lot of people come a long distance to come to the faire,” Gustafon said. “There’s so many neat things, and it’s just a happy day.”

Over at the Pet Pageant, one-year-old Pickles took home the title of Berry Best Dog. Pickles stole the show in his strawberry outfit, and even got to meet VCU mascot Rodney the Ram.

The Hanover Humane Society and Ashland’s Fin & Feather had a kissing booth, where for one dollar you can kiss or be kissed by a dog.

When hunger struck, guests could enjoy a variety of foods like First Baptist Church’s strawberry shortcake, and fresh burgers from Clay Springs Ruritan Club.

The scent of strawberries will linger in Ashland long after the Faire is over.