VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — “Rise and shine, it’s strawberry time!” — That’s the theme and mood for this year’s Pungo Strawberry Festival in Virginia Beach.
This annual, three-day festival is jam-packed with live entertainment, activities for all ages, carnival rides, vendors and, of course, strawberries.
Strawberry shortcake, strawberry pie, strawberry ice cream — the festival boasts over 50 ways to eat the Pungo area’s most-prized produce.
The festival will be held during Memorial Day weekend, from May 24 to May 26, in the fields along 1776 Princess Anne Road near Indian River Road. It kicks off with a parade on Saturday morning.
Admission into the festival is free. You will have to dish out $10 per vehicle for onsite parking and purchase tickets for the carnival rides.
The poster design for this year’s festival was created by Kellam High School junior, Collin Morris. His design was chosen out of 20 student entries.
Each year, the festival board selects a group of dignitaries to recognize. This year, they are:
- Grand Marshal: Capt. Chad Vincelette, Naval Air Station Oceana
- Honorary Mayor and First Lady: Bob and Phoebe Braswell, Sentara and Back Bay House and Lawn
- Honorary Witch of Pungo: Judy Mahoney Pace, Saving Kids Dreams Foundation and Delta Waterfowl
The festival is organized by a nonprofit and is staffed by volunteers. They’ve been highlighting Pungo as the Hampton Roads destination for strawberries since 1984. This year, they expect 80,000 attendees.
Funds from the event are used towards the subsequent year and the organization says any additional proceeds are given back to the community in the form of college scholarships and donations to other nonprofits.