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Exploring the Roots: A Look into the History of the Poteet Strawberry Festival

The Poteet Strawberry Festival's history is fascinating. Tracing its humble beginnings to its current status as a must-visit festival draws large crowds to this event.


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Poteet, Texas - How did the Poteet Strawberry Festival begin? With strawberries of course!


Generations upon generations have come together to make the festival a success. The first event was held in 1948 in downtown Poteet, Texas, to allow World War II veterans to return to the farms and harvest strawberries. It began with just a couple of local organizations and entertainers.


The Roy's Nursery float in the Poteet Strawberry Festival parade.

In 1979 Jim Collums, the former festival President and Poteet Lions Club President came up with an idea to buy the 106 acres that the festival sits on, to this day. He gathered 7 nonprofit organizations, each contributing to starting an account and making a deal with the local bank. Jim managed to secure the support of Al Gray, a banker, and the farmers, who agreed to help with the purchase. The Poteet Strawberry Festival Association was then created with several clubs underneath it.


" How big do you want it to be? " Jim asked the board one day in 1981.


 "Huge!" The board members replied.


The group then started posting advertisements in San Antonio. Jim, the late Margarito Martinez, and the late Roy Martinez would go to malls, banks, and other public-busy places to hand out brochures about the festival while also playing their instruments to catch the public's attention.


The rest is history!




Now the Poteet Strawberry Festival is bigger than ever! People from all over the U.S. travel to Poteet just to attend the festival. That was always the goal from day one.


Charley Gallegos interviewing Robert Martinez

"Keeping it a family-oriented, homegrown event," said Robert Martinez, District Governor nominee of the Poteet Rotary Club and a Chairman of the Poteet Strawberry Festival. "This is what the festival wants to be known for. Passionate volunteers in Poteet, Texas dedicate themselves to community service and youth development. The volunteers focus on the festival to be a success for the community every year."


The Poteet Strawberry Festival has indeed grown significantly over the years, with the local community benefiting from the exposure and economic activity it has brought. All the efforts to promote the festival in the past have helped the festival grow from 50,000 attendees to 130,000 with multiple stages and food booths. Strawberry growers have donated leftover strawberries to festival organizers during the peak season while the festival has provided help in return such as helping students attend college by giving out scholarships every year. This is just one of the ways the town of Poteet has come together to make this event a success while also growing because of the festival.


For more information about the Poteet Strawberry Festival:

PHONE: (830) 742-8144

ADDRESS: 9199 N State Hwy 16 Poteet, TX




 

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