Each April, the town of Ponchatoula puts on the state's largest free festival in honor of the beloved strawberry. Here's what you need to know to plan one sweet trip to the Strawberry Capital of the World.
Festival Facts: The festival will be held April 13-15, 2012, at Ponchatoula's Memorial Park and North Sixth Street. In addition to rides and live music, Saturday's events feature a downtown parade and a strawberry auction, where you can bid on ribbon-winning berries.
You've Gotta Try: As you'd expect, the festival's food booths feature a variety of strawberry dishes. A popular choice is the strawberry shortcake, made with fresh local berries. Another must-try: deep-fried strawberries. They're dipped in what's described as a beignet batter, deep-fried and dusted with sugar. Sample the cinnamon-flavored ones too.
Belly Up for a Berry-Eating Contest: A Louisiana festival isn't complete without some sort of eating contest. Here, three different age groups compete to see who can eat a pint of strawberries the fastest. Entrants are required to eat the entire berry to win, including the stem.
Strawberry Souvenirs: Don't leave without taking home some of the area's favorite fruits. You'll find local growers selling their crop along the festival's Farmers Row throughout the weekend.
If You Want to Pick-Your-Own: Can't make it to the festival or want to treat your family to a pick-your-own strawberry farm? Nearby Livingston Parish offers a few options, including Mrs. Heather's Strawberry Patch, Landry-Poche Strawberry Farm and Blahut Strawberry Farm.
Learn more at LaStrawberryFestival.com.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times