The 6th annual Franklin Strawberry Festival was a “berry” big hit amongst market customers and our local farmers. There were over 10,000 market customers who supported our farmers, and 5,800 quarts of strawberries sold! Some farmers had to send for help back at the farm for more berries to arrive, and within minutes even those were sold out! Our Strawberry Festival and market sponsor, Greg Brown, owner of Ford Lincoln in Franklin, made it possible for us to have such a large festival, our largest one yet! Thank you, Greg!
Karen Norton, of Norton Family Farms made over 1,000 strawberry shortcakes that were nothing short of amazing. Clearview Baptist Church volunteers spent hours preparing the strawberries and assembling the shortcakes. The strawberries were provided by Kirkview Farm, Delvin Farms, Kelley’s Berry Farm and cream provided by Hatcher Dairy Farm.
Ellie’s Donuts made over 500 special strawberry donuts that were a big hit among children and adults! The line for the donuts never ceased, but the general consensus was that it was worth the wait! Belle Springs Lemonade sold over 300 strawberry lemonades made with fresh strawberries from our farmers at the market. We love the way our food vendors use local ingredients from our farmers!
Children were entertained with free games and art activities, and parents enjoyed live music and food from our food trucks, Crepe A Diem, Street Provisions, Jay’s Chicago and Bradley’s Ice Cream.
Perhaps the most popular event at the market, at least among our farmers, is the best tasting strawberry contest. Winning this contest gives the farmer bragging rights for the rest of the year, and who doesn’t want to kid around with their friends at the market over who REALLY grows the best berry? When 1st place winner, Delvin Farms was announced, Hank Delvin Sr., owner of Delvin Farms exclaimed, “Wow, thank you! This means so much!” And then jokingly, “Alright! I beat Carl Thoni (College Grove neighbor to Delvin, Kirkview Farm). I had to hear all year last year from his wife, Teresa, how he had the best strawberry!”
We’re sure that next year Carl will be vying for his place back at the top if Delvin spends this year reminding him of the 2016 contest results! Good thing they’re neighbors and good friends, who knew there was so much action behind the scenes of farming?
2016 Strawberry Contest Winners:
1st Place Delvin Farms
2nd Place Bloomsbury Farm
3rd Place Rocky Glade Farm
We don’t envy our celebrity judges who had to make a decision from the 8 farms who entered their berries. Rumor has it that there was third tasting to break a tie…watching it was intense because we know what it means to the farmers!
Thank you to our judges:
Greg Brown, Owner of Ford Lincoln of Franklin
Eric Stuckey, City Administrator for the City of Franklin
Chris Harris with WSMV Channel 4 News
Laura Musgrave, President of the Music City Concierge Association
With over 80 volunteers from Clearview Baptist Church working behind the scenes, the festival ran smoothly and efficiently. Thank you so much to our volunteers, and market staff Ryan Palmer for coordinating the event. Ryan spent weeks planning and coordinating this huge event! Our other market staff who helped make this event possible: Deb Grant, market manager, Ron Beagle, media specialist and Amy Tavalin, market social media, and event specialist Kristy Williams of the Heritage Foundation who coordinated our Celebrity Judges. And finally, thank you to our market customers who attended our market to support the farmers. We hope you had a “BERRY” good time!
The Franklin Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8am-1pm behind the Factory in Franklin, TN. The market is a 15 yr old producers only market with the largest assembly of local farmers providing fresh farm food all year long each Saturday morning. Find us at 230 Franklin Road behind the Factory. Visit us online at www.franklinfarmersmarket.com or follow us on facebook, twitter and instagram for the latest market news.