Strawberry Jam to replace large Troy festival

Troy Strawberry Festival organizers, who earlier this month canceled the annual June festival for the second year, said Monday they will instead hold a “small community celebration” requiring less human and monetary resources.

The event will feature food and music and provide a venue for local nonprofits to raise money. It will not include the traditional festival arts and craft vendors.

The Strawberry Jam now being planned June 4 and June 5 downtown is an extension of the traditional festival Friday night event held before Saturday and Sunday activities that drew from a wide area, the Troy Strawberry Festival committee said in a press release.

The scaled back celebration is based in part on simplified health orders issued by the governor April 5. The decision to cancel the festival was made a few days earlier.

The festival board then met with the city and Miami County Public Health to discuss possibilities, said Kathi Roetter of the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce.

“This small community celebration will require less resources both monetary and human,” she said.

Troy Mayor Robin Oda said earlier this month she was disappointed by the festival cancellation.

She said the festival board met with city administrators twice Thursday, April 8, indicating they were contemplating an alternative event for the festival weekend.

“We are excited that there will be an event supporting our non-profits and our downtown businesses along with providing a fun event for the community,” Oda said.

“We appreciate this change of direction and will work with them to make it happen. Supporting our non-profits and businesses is crucial to getting them through 2021 successfully,” Oda added. “We await further details and encourage those who wish to participate and/or volunteer to contact the festival board through the TSF website.”

The city has not finalized the details of its assistance with the Strawberry Jam, said Patrick Titterington, city service and safety director.

“But, I can guarantee that we’ll be heavily involved in the planning and logistics of the event. Saturday may include several bands, the cost of which the city may help underwrite,” Titterington said. “And, I’m fairly certain we will be part of the on-site team during the event to ensure it goes off without a hitch.”

Roetter emphasized this activity will not be a Strawberry Festival. “The full festival will return in 2022,” she said.

The festival first was held in 1977.

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