Thousands line streets for 80th Strawberry Festival Grand Floats Parade

HUMBOLDT, Tenn. — High school bands, festival royalty and crowds of West Tennesseans made their way Friday to Main Street for the 80th annual Strawberry Festival Grand Floats Parade.

Fans young and old have their favorite part about this tradition.

“All the floats that come by,” parade watcher Cole Snider said.

There’s something about the Strawberry Festival that attracts thousands to the parade route.

“This is at the top of the charts. Bring the whole family,” said Angela Snider, owner of Twin Oaks, which sits along the parade route. “The parade is fantastic. My son loves the carnival, and there’s just lots to do and lots of great food.”

Some spectators come from across the country.

“I have company from Denver, Colorado, and she’s never been to the Strawberry Festival before, so we had to do it,” spectator Ann Jones said.

For the locals, it’s a reunion.

“You always come back to your hometown for the Strawberry Festival, the carnival, the funnel cakes — it’s just amazing,” mother of one of this year’s princesses, Hannah Tate, said.

The day is bittersweet for Chesslyn Owens, who’s been playing on this route for seven years.

“It’s my senior year, so I’m just trying to go out with a bang and enjoy this last moment,” Owens said.

Festival president Ashley Culpepper said it shows what the strawberry capital has to offer.

“The festival that we’re so proud of, the town that we’re proud of, just to show West Tennessee what we’ve got and that we have something to be proud of. That’s my favorite part,” Culpepper said.

For Owens, this final walk down Main Street before graduation is her moment to shine.

“We might be a small band, but we just strive to make every note sound how it should, and our passion is great,” Owens said.

The final events for the West Tennessee Strawberry Festival will wrap up Saturday night.

See a full schedule of Strawberry Festival events at the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce website.

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