BUCKHANNON – After a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19, local businesses are celebrating the return of the West Virginia Strawberry Festival with special treats, clothing and other themed items.
Patrons strolling down Main Street can enjoy several strawberry-based delights at Stone Tower Brews, Fish Hawk Acres and Sweet-A-Licious. Courtney Page, the manager Stone Tower Brews, said the popular coffee-and-beer joint kicked off the festival week with a strawberry bacon jam burger — house bacon jam, strawberry pico, and goat cheese on a brioche bun — that will be offered for a limited time.
“For Taco Tuesday we’ll be starting a strawberry barbecue pulled pork taco with an apple slaw, on Thursday we’ll start our strawberry guacamole and on Friday we’re doing a salmon taco with a strawberry balsamic glaze on top,” Page told My Buckhannon.
Stone Tower will offer an assortment of specialty drinks as well.
“We brought the strawberry shortcake latte back, and then we always have a white strawberry mocha,” Page said. “We’ll be doing a strawberry limeade later this week as well, which will be pretty fun.”
She said they plan on offering the Screech Owl Strawberry Ale, but most of the strawberry items featured will be creations from their own staff.
“We love doing the strawberry items — it’s fun to get creative with it and do something different,” Page said. “We get challenged to think of different foods the kitchen can make with strawberries; we always have a lot of fun making up new specials.”
Just down the road, Fish Hawk Acres will offer a plethora of strawberry-themed food such as strawberry shortcake, scones, cream cheese rolls, strawberry soup, dream dessert, strawberry rhubarb crisp, granola parfaits, cheesecake and strawberry oatmeal bars.
On the other end of Main Street, Sweet-A-Licious owner Michelle Jack said the ice cream shop is bringing back some classic items and introducing a few new options for this year’s Strawberry Festival.
“The chocolate covered strawberries are always popular, and then we have a Bonnie Belle cupcake that has a chocolate covered strawberry on it which is a big seller,” she told My Buckhannon. “I’m really curious to try to the new mini strawberry pies — I think they will be great.”
A full list of strawberry treats Sweet-A-Licious will offer include: strawberry and strawberry cheesecake ice cream (in addition to 14 other flavors), strawberry shortcake, chocolate covered strawberry milkshake, strawberry smoothie, strawberries and cream iced coffee, strawberry shortcake cupcake, mini strawberry pie, chocolate covered strawberry cupcake and chocolate covered strawberries.
Local shops like Caroline & Co., Tateep Unique Boutique and the Mountain Mama Market are also offering strawberry themed decorations, clothing, jewelry and more.
Lisa Karickhoff, director of e-commerce and marketing for Caroline & Co. Boutique, said everyone at the boutique is looking forward to being on Main Street for Strawberry Festival. The women’s clothing store moved downtown from their previous location at Northridge Plaza in March.
“We’re definitely excited to welcome everyone to the new location,” Karickhoff said. “We’re excited to experience Strawberry Festival as a store on Main Street.”
The boutique — located at 33 E. Main Street, across from Dairy Queen — will feature strawberry themed jewelry and clothing.
“We have a lot of strawberry inventory — we’ll have strawberry earrings, necklaces, all the accessories,” Karickhoff said. “We have a few strawberry shirts that will be coming towards the end of the week, probably Friday, and we also have a few unique dresses and tops that would be great paired with our accessories.”
Lisa Hulver, the owner of Owner of Tateep Unique Boutique on Main Street, said the store has strawberry T-shirts, glassware, masks, earrings, necklaces, bags and wooden signs for shoppers to browse.
Mountain Mama Market, located at 14 N. Kanawha Street, has a selection of strawberry signs gnomes, crayons, key chains, jewelry and more in stock, owner Shanda Hoover told My Buckhannon.
“It’s so exciting — a little overwhelming, but it’s so exciting because I grew up here and the Strawberry Festival is definitely one of my favorite times of the year, so it’s exciting to have a storefront,” Hoover said of the market, which opened its doors this spring.