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Strawberry Festival cancels 2023 Horse and Carriage Parade

BUCKHANNON — The West Virginia Strawberry Festival has announced the postponement of its annual Horse and Carriage Parade.

President Shane Jenkins expressed disappointment over the decision, which came after declining participation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, attendees can still look forward to seeing horses and handlers during the Junior Royalty Parade on May 18. All other festival events will proceed as scheduled, with organizers committed to providing memorable experiences for families over the nine days of festivities.

You can view My Buckhannon’s updated Strawberry Festival Schedule of Events by clicking here.

Here’s the full letter from Jenkins announcing the decision:

For 81 years, The West Virginia Strawberry Festival has committed to providing family entertainment. Our mission to host quality events and promote agriculture, arts and culture has been firmly upheld through the years, and stands true today.

After much deliberation and discussion, the Board of Directors of the West Virginia Strawberry Festival has decided to postpone the horse and carriage parade.

Let us be the first to say this is truly heartbreaking for us and everyone who has enjoyed the parade as much as we enjoy producing it. It is no secret that we have seen a decline in participation for this event since COVID-19. In 2022 specifically, the parade simply did not live up to our standards. We shared your disappointment, and we will not subject you to an event which does not meet the benchmark standard you expect for our events.

Although you will not see the horse and carriage parade on Saturday, May 13, you will still have a chance to view horses and handlers who return on Thursday, May 18 throughout the Junior Royalty Parade. For clarification, all other events will continue as scheduled.

Again, we assure you that our decision did not come lightly. Our goal stands firm at making memories for you and your family, and we aim to do that throughout our 9 days of fun-filled events. From the bottom of our hearts: we appreciate your continued support, and we can’t wait to see you for the 81st West Virginia Strawberry Festival.

Shane Jenkins
81st WVSF Board of Directors

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