Page 1

88th Annual

Strawberry festival

Picture it at Presented by:

June 8-16 2019





Marysville Strawberry Festival | JUNE 2019



Map & Schedules 5-6

Event Map ............................... 5 Strawberry Festival Schedule .................................. 6 Entertainment Schedule .................................. 6

Welcome Letters 7-10

Marysville Mayor........................ 7 Tulalip Chairwoman ................... 7 Maryfest President .................... 8 Royalty Queen ........................... 8

Strawberry Festival 11-12 Fun for All Ages!

Meet the Royalty 14-16

Royal Court .............................. 14 Junior Royalty .......................... 15

Events 17-27

Berry Run ................................. 17 Kids Day ................................... 18

Share your Strawberry Festival experience by posting your photos on social media.


Events continued

Fashion Show ........................... 19 Talent Show .............................. 20 Car Show.................................. 21 Carnival .................................... 22 Beer Garden............................. 23 The Market............................... 24 Rose Planting ........................... 26 Shortcake Eating Contests ...... 26 Wrestling.................................. 27

The Parades 28-33

Kiddies Parade ......................... 28 Grand Parade ........................... 29 Marysville Float ....................... 32

Maryfest 34

Meet the Board

Float Schedule 35

Float and Royalty on the Road

Northwest Festival Hosting Group 36

Dignitaries Come to Town

Festival Office 37 Moves to Waterfront

Strawberry Lady 38 Dianna Biringer

Sponsors Thank You! 39

THE 2019 STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL GUIDE Publisher.......................................................... Josh O’Connor Editor .................................................................. Steve Powell Reporter ................................................................. Doug Buell Sales Manager ................................................... Carrie Radcliff Ad Sales ............................................................... Angela Neal Graphic Design ....... Sound Publishing Creative Design Team Published by Marysville Globe © 2019 Sound Publishing JUNE 2019 | Marysville Strawberry Festival


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Use exits 200 and 202 and turn west. For more information call 360-716-5010. Marysville Strawberry Festival | JUNE 2019

Map of Events Courtesy of The Marysville Globe

116th St.


Leifer Manor


108th St. NE

State Ave.

Exit 206

Marysville Pilchuck H.S.

100th St. NE

88th St. NE

88th St Exit

To Cedarcrest Middle School

Grand Parade Route 78th St. NE

E&E Lumber

Kiddies Parade Route





Jennings Park Marysville M.S.

10th St.


Totem Middle School




Comeford Park

Exit 199

4th St.



8th St.

1. Kids’ Party in the Park


7th St.

3. Talent Show

Asbery Field

9th St.

6th St.

4. Funtastic Carnival

5th St.

5. The Market



3rd St. 2nd St.

1st St.

Ebey Waterfront Park

JUNE 2019 | Marysville Strawberry Festival

2. Fashion Show

6. Beer Garden 7. Rose Planting 8. Car Show 9. Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest 10. Kiddies Parade 11. Grand Parade



June 14-16

Berry Run 9 a.m. June 8, Tulalip Resort Casino Amphitheatre

The Market 2-9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; Asbury Field;

Kids Day 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Asbery Field, 4th and Alder Featuring ‘The Zaniac’ Alex Zerbe. 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Kiwanis Beer Garden Noon-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday; north of Asbury Field.

June 11

June 15

Fashion Show Noon, Marysville Opera House

Car Show 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Asbury Field

June 13

Rose Planting Ceremony 10:30 a.m., Totem Middle School,

Talent Show 6:30 p.m., Marysville-Pilchuck High School auditorium, 5611 108th St. NE.

Pro Wrestling 1 and 4 p.m., Asbury Field

June 13-16 Carnival Times vary Thursday through Sunday based on weather and school; Marysville Middle School, 4923 67th St. NE.

Shortcake Eating Contest 1:30 p.m., Asbury Field Kiddies Parade 6 p.m., downtown Grand Parade 7:45 p.m., downtown



Marysville School Jazz Bands

Lonely Hearts Club

4 pm to 6 pm

Jenny & the Blue Moon Boys 7 pm to 9 pm Blues

SUNDAY, JUNE 16 No Buffer

11 am to 1 pm

11 am to 1 pm

Beatles Tribute

Blues/Cover Songs

The Fabulous Murphtones 2 pm to 4 pm Mix Rock

No Rules

3 pm to 5 pm Rock

Aardvarks United 5 pm to 7 pm Classic Rock 6

Marysville Strawberry Festival | JUNE 2019


Mayor Nehring welcomes you to festival Friends, neighbors and visitors:

is capped off by Saturday’s Grand Parade.

You might think a festival going on 88 years now might be stale, but you’d be wrong.

Thousands of locals and visitors from throughout the Pacific Northwest come to Marysville every June to kick off the summer vacation season.

Created to celebrate Marysville’s rich agricultural heritage and in particular those delicious strawberries (our community’s most-famous crop), our Strawberry Festival is one of the longest ongoing and most-popular festivals in the state. A newly invigorated festival leadership team of community volunteers is bringing fresh new events to the schedule this year – professional wrestling, anyone? They’re keeping well-loved ones, too, so there’s sure to be something for everyone. A week full of family friendly events

The Strawberry Festival in particular is when our community opens its arms in welcome for visitors to experience Marysville’s unique combination of modern amenities and old-fashioned charm and hospitality. As mayor and a longtime Marysville resident, I am delighted to welcome you to the Strawberry Festival.

good times and an extra helping of strawberry shortcake.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a lifelong resident, I wish you laughter,

JON NEHRING Marysville Mayor


Visit Tulalip while you’re here Our ancestral lifeways continue to be the foundation of our culture and community, defining our teachings, values, and governance of our tribe and community. The Tulalip Tribes share a strong partnership with Marysville, Everett and Snohomish County. The history of our people echoes over the coasts, rivers and mountains of our homeland. We are the descendants of the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skykomish, and other allied tribes and bands united by land, culture and tradition. Together, as friends, neighbors and partners, we are committed to improving arts and culture, education and recreational opportunities for youth, the environment, health care, public safety and infrastructure projects that improve the quality of life for all the citizens of our communities.

During festivities, we invite you to visit our Hibulb Cultural Center, a place of learning and a source of civic pride for the Tulalip people and our neighboring communities. We encourage you to stop by the center and tour our exhibits and longhouse to learn about our history and culture. In addition, please consider visiting our nationally acclaimed Tulalip Resort Casino, the Seattle Premium Outlets, our amphitheater and many restaurants. Quil Ceda Village, our federally recognized city, has become a preferred destination for entertainment, shopping and cuisine in Snohomish County. Your vital business helps to fund education, environmental restoration, social services, health care, law enforcement, and art and culture for the Tulalip Tribes

JUNE 2019 | Marysville Strawberry Festival

membership as well as the surrounding region.

We Are Thankful For You! Teri Gobin The Tulalip Tribes Chairwoman 7


Happy 88th Birthday Strawberry Festival This year’s Maryfest Board of Directors and volunteers invite and welcome all to join us to celebrate the annual Marysville Strawberry Festival from June 8-16. The board and volunteers have been working, thinking and creating since July of 2018 to organize the 2019 festival. Lots of hours, thoughts and travel have been put into promoting the festival, inviting other communities to join us. A new event has been added this year - CP Wrestling - and we also are bringing back the Car Show. Join us at the Talent Show to see local community members along with out of town talent perform, and check out the current fashions at the April Friesner Memorial Fashion Show Luncheon with clothing from local businesses. The Kiddies Parade, The Market, entertainment and of course the grandest parade of Grand Parades and more are all returning. Please find the schedule of events in this special section of The Marys-

ville Globe/The Arlington Times or on our website at www.maryfest.org. A special Thank You to our partners the Tulalip Tribes and the city of Marysville and all our sponsors for all the support and help they have given the Strawberry Festival not only this year but in the past. We look forward to continuing those relationships in the future. The Marysville Strawberry Festival will continue to travel this summer and into the fall to invite communities throughout Washington state, Oregon and Canada to visit our wonderful community. We will have the honor and pleasure of introducing the young Marysville adults who were awarded the crowns and scholarships this spring as our Royalty and show off our awarding-winning float. Maryfest, the volunteer group that organizes the festival, meets the first and third Tuesday of each month. We invite you to join us for some fun times and to meet

new friends. Meeting are at the festival office at 1412 First St. Membership forms can be found on the festival website or contact us via phone or email at maryfest. org@gmail.com. Enjoy the 88th Marysville Strawberry Festival JODI HIATT 2019 Marysville Strawberry Festival President


Letter from the Strawberry Festival queen On behalf of the 2019 Strawberry Festival Royalty Court, we are so excited to welcome you to the 88th Annual Marysville Strawberry Festival. Some pretty amazing events happened in 1932 - the election of Franklin D Roosevelt, the Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., and probably the most important milestone for us was the first Marysville Strawberry Festival. After the turn of the century, Marysville was known as “The Strawberry City” due to our agricultural success of growing everyone’s favorite summer treat. We have come a long way as a city and as a festival over the past 88 years. Our town isn’t quite as small, but still has so many small-town values that we hold dear, and our festival has grown from a single day to 8

a full week of events and fun for everyone. Driving through town you won’t see the strawberry fields we once had, but you will certainly see the influence of days gone by with the names of our neighborhoods and communities. Come June, all the roadside strawberry stands pop up, and nothing beats fresh berries on a shortcake. As it is important to look back on our history, this year we wanted a theme to incorporate the future with a social-mediasavvy float and theme of #marysvillewa. We hope you will follow us on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, as we not only travel in Washington and Canada, but we show you some of our favorite places and activities in Marysville.

It is an honor to travel and be an ambassador for you, and the city of Marysville as your Strawberry Festival queen.

QUEEN’S LETTER continued page 10 >

Marysville Strawberry Festival | JUNE 2019




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SUBARU STORE 1-866-668-1721


JUNE 2019 | Marysville Strawberry Festival


Letter from the Strawberry Festival queen


Strawberry Festival beginnings

QUEEN’S LETTER continued from page 9 > The outpouring of love, community spirit and giving that Marysville shows to each other every day is amazing. It is easy to tell others why I love this town so much and why I will always be proud that I am from Marysville, or in social media terms, why #IAmMarysville. As a senior at MarysvillePilchuck High School this year is bittersweet as I head off this fall to the University of Idaho in Moscow for its PGA Man-


agement Program. It is tough to leave such an inclusive community that embraces the diversity and strengths of its residents, but I will be taking with me the joy of growing up in the best hometown around. Make sure to say hi during the festival. The royalty can’t wait for you to share what you love best and why #IAmMarysville. QUEEN NATALIA ZIEROTH 2019 Strawberry Festival Royalty


1933 – Bonita Davis was the festival’s first queen, accompanied by runners-up Dorothy Holcom and Sadie Morney. Up to 6,000 people attended, with 3,500 served strawberry, cream and coffee and 2,745 getting shortcake. Lt. Gov. Victor A. Myers attended. 1947 – About 8,000 people attended the parade, and 5,500 plates of strawberry shortcake were served. Three local pilots - Ben, Bob and Phil Sprague - provided aerial entertainment. The Marysville chamber started to sponsor the festival. 1965 – About 12,000 people watched the 69 entries in the parade. Jack Lalanne of exercise fame was the guest of honor at the crowning of the festival queen, Lily Ann Fryberg. Barbara Weber and Ginger Clay were princesses.




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he Car Show is back, and there will be professional wrestling as part of this year’s Marysville Strawberry Festival June 8-16.

The week kicks off with the Berry Run at 9 a.m. June 8 at the Tulalip Amphitheatre. Participants can pick either a 1-mile or 5-kilometer run/walk. Kids Day returns from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 8 with face painters, bouncy houses, balloon art and a variety of entertainers, including “The Zaniac,” Alex Zerbe, at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. On June 11 at noon is the Fashion Show at the Marysville Opera House. Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring will be the emcee. Bleachers Restaurant at Cedarcrest Golf Course again will supply the food. Tickets are $25 or $120 for a table for six. The Talent Show takes place June 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the MarysvillePilchuck High School auditorium. Also that day the Funtastic Carnival comes to town at Marysville Middle School. Hours vary depending on school schedule and weather. The always popular Market opens up June 14 and runs through the 16th. Hours at Asbury Field are: 2-9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

FESTIVAL continued page 12 >

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At 10:30 a.m. that day at Totem Middle School is the Rose Planting Ceremony, honoring Maryfest leaders. Other entertainment, which also runs through June 16, includes everything from jazz to classic rock to blues to a Beatles tribute band.

CTW pro wrestling will take place at The Market Saturday afternoon at 1 and 4. Admission is free. About eight wrestlers from Portland to Puget Sound will participate in the 1 1/2 hour performances.

Also that afternoon at Asbery Field are Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contests, starting at 1:30 p.m.

The highlight of the week for many is the Grand Parade, which starts at 7:45 p.m. A Kiddies Parade starts at 6 p.m.


Jim Lee • 206-261-0752 Jim@MyHometownValues.com



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Major festival sponsors include the Tulalip Tribes, Alaska Airlines, City of Marysville, Marysville Fire District, The Marysville Globe, North County Outlook and Roy Robinson ChevroletSubaru-RV. •

________________________________________________________________________ E:E: ________________________________________________________________________

The Kiwanis Beer Garden also opens on Friday and goes through the 16th. Hours just north of Asbery Field are noon-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Proceeds go to scholarships for graduating seniors at Marysville high schools.

Saturday kicks off with the car show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Asbery Field. There will be 25 classics, 25 hot rods, 25 motorcycles and 25 trucks. It will take place at Asbery Field. Entry fee is $25 for cars, $15 for trucks. Various prizes will be awarded. If interested in displaying your car, email maryfest.org.


Marysville Strawberry Festival | JUNE 2019




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The Marysville School District is going to have jazz bands perform from 4-6 p.m. June 14 at the Market.

Strawberry Festival Snapshot

Kids play a major role in the Marysville Strawberry Festival Grand Parade every year.

JUNE 2019 | Marysville Strawberry Festival



Festival royalty tries to find balance in busy lives


ith her senior year winding down at Marysville-Pilchuck, Natalia Zieroth is super busy. “It’s crazy but fun,” said Zieroth, queen of this year’s Marysville Strawberry Festival. She’s a standout on the M-P golf team and works in member services at the Everett Golf and Country Club. Since she’s a senior, she said her classes are a little easier, except for Advanced Placement statistics. “I’ve had to work at it, prioritizing, finding a balance,” she said, adding her social time is what’s taken the hardest hit. But her favorite part of being queen so far is the social time, “Bonding with these girls and being part of the community,” she said. The biggest challenge was walking in the four parades in the Daffodil Festival because the brakes on the float were bad. Zieroth said the Strawberry Festival experience will help her in the future. “I’ve met a lot of new people, important people, in a professional setting,” she said. One of her princesses is fellow M-P senior Brionna Olson.

Queen Natalia Zieroth and princesses Jael Hudson and Brionna Olson have been busy trying to balance their new duties with their regular lives. (Steve Powell/Staff Photo)


She said being a member of the royalty has been “everything and more” concerning what she thought it would be. ROYALTY continued page 15 >

Marysville Strawberry Festival | JUNE 2019

MEET THE STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL JUNIOR ROYALTY > ROYALTY continued from page 14 “I like seeing places and helping the community,” she said. Olson said the festival has always been important to her family of five. “It was big for us,” she said. She enjoyed it so much as a kid that she once dressed up like a pirate and was picked out of the crowd and accepted an invite to be on the ship for the rest of the parade. As to what she likes most about the festival so far, she said it’s the music. The royalty helped pick about 20 songs that have been remixed into a 15-minute recording. So when the float goes by this year, so won’t hear the same song over and over again. “There’s newer songs and throwbacks,” she said. “We helped pick the songs, so we all have a piece of ourselves on it.” The other princess is from Marysville Getchell, senior Jael Hudson. She decided to get involved because her grandma challenged her to step out of her comfort zone. “I love to challenge myself,” she said. Hudson said she’s competed in ballroom dancing, so crowds don’t bother her, but she hadn’t spoken much in public previously. “The competition was so tough,” she said of the contest to be named to the royalty. Her favorite part of the experience so far has been getting to know all of the people, including members of Maryfest. The junior royalty consists of Karis Lewis and Emma Abele. (Steve Powell/Staff Photo)

ROYALTY continued page 16 > JUNE 2019 | Marysville Strawberry Festival


To love someone

> ROYALTY continued from page 15 The volunteers work so hard “gathering to create something. I’ve developed some close friendships,” she said. On the junior royalty are 10th Street Middle Schoolers Emma Abele and Karis Lewis. They’ve appeared in one parade so far, in Wenatchee at the Apple Blossom Festival. They carried a banner in front of the float with the senior royalty on it. Emma decided to get involved because she’s known a bunch of people who have done it in the past. “I know you have to be proper,” she said. Her favorite thing thus far has been the music and the dancing. She’s looking forward to the parade in Marysville because she can “see people I recognize.”

The toughest part so far has been “waking up early” but the best part has been “meeting new friends and talking to people.” Members of the royalty accompany the Maryfest parade float and serve as ambassadors representing Marysville at festivals throughout the Northwest. They also make guest appearances at local events, activities, retirement homes and other venues. To become royalty, the candidates made public appearances make before groups like the City Council, School Board and Kiwanis, where their public speaking skills were put to the test. Candidates also presented speeches tied to the future and this year’s festival theme, “#MarysvilleWA.” Candidates also are rated on talent and responses to impromptu questions. •

CarePartnersLiving.com 16

Marysville Strawberry Festival | JUNE 2019



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Kids Day to open Strawberry Festival with big smiling faces


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Kids Day opens the nine-day Marysville Strawberry Festival with with a jam-packed day of family fun that runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 8 at Asbery Field.

“Bring the kids, come dance and have fun, or maybe event a little kettle corn,” Maryfest event organizer Marcy Giesler said. She said the day that celebrates kids – and the child in all of us – has a full slate of activities and food vendors.

Alex Zerbe brings zany entertainment to Kids Day Seattle’s Funniest Prop Comic Alex Zerbe is coming to Kids Day with a jaw-dropping show of wild juggling tricks, zany humor, danceable music and audience participation that will appeal to all agies. The 15-year professional performer has appeared on national television shows including “America’s Got Talent” and “Last Comic Standing,” and he is especially proud of his two Guinness World Records, Hacky Sack World Champion title, and Seattle’s 3rd Best Air Guitarist. “The Zaniac” Zerbe is a master juggler, magician and physical comedian, and has performed in 14 countries. In his act, he juggles bowling balls, flaming torches and slices vegetables in half with a flying playing card. Zerbe will perform at 11 a.m and 1:30 p.m. at Asbery Field. Kids Day will offer many other activities and types of entertainment. It is free. 18

This year features world-class prop comic entertainer “The Zaniac” Alex Zerbe, a bouncy “neighborhood” with five houses (one with a 25-foot waterless slide), a mechanical bull and a bungy trampoline. Kids Day also includes visits from The Reptile Man at 3 p.m., Victoria Steward singing Disney songs at 12:15 p.m., Knockerball inflatable people bubbles, a balloon artist and face painters. An ROTC routine opens the event at 10 a.m., and K-9 demonstrations are set for 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., as well as coloring contests and giveaways and activities planned by organizations and businesses. The Marysville

police Bearcat vehicle, a fire truck and ambulance, and other public safety vehicles will be on hand. A Kung Fu 4 Kids demonstration and skit from Red Curtain Theatre Foundation kid actors also are planned. Mascots are coming to the party, too. Meet Webbly from the Everett AquaSox, The Bee from Applebee’s restaurant and The Builder from Home Depot. The event is free, however food is available for purchase from vendors selling shaved ice, hot dogs, popcorn, corn dogs, curly fries, elephant ears, cotton candy, nachos, hamburgers, roasted corn, pop and other beverages. Organizers will be selling themed Strawberry Festival T-shirts, scarves, socks and pins so you can be fashionable and in the spirt of festival week in Marysville. Please bring a non-perishable food item for the food bank. •

Marysville Strawberry Festival | JUNE 2019


Elegant Marysville Opera House welcomes Fashion Show and Luncheon


ickets are available for the Marysville Strawberry Festival fashion show and luncheon featuring model citizens strutting to raise funds for student scholarships while showing off the latest summer fashions from local stores. The annual April Friesner Memorial Royalty Fashion Show and Scholarship Fundraiser Luncheon will be at noon June 11 in the Marysville Opera House, 1225 3rd St. The fashion show is an early attraction amid 10 days of festival fun. “The show’s theme this year is, ‘You’re beautiful just the way you are,’” organizer and Maryfest board member Leslie Buell said. The show will feature clothing ideas from Renee’s Boutique, Boho Chic Boutique at Seattle Premium Outlets, Wrenhaven Vintage Market, Hilton Pharmacy and Gifts, JC Penney and Coastal Farm and Ranch. The fashion show is being catered by Bleachers Grill at Cedarcrest Golf Course and emceed by Mayor Jon Nehring. Marysville Downtown Merchants Association is hosting a new dessert dash at the show with hand-picked French pastries and

local favorites. Strawberries have to be in there somewhere. Raffles tickets are also available. Fashion show tickets are $25, or $120 for a table of 6. Seating is limited. Pre-purchase tickets at the Maryfest Office, several 3rd Street businesses, or contact Buell at 425-268-5285 or email labuell@frontier.com. You can also buy tickets online at www.maryfest.org. The Strawberry Festival has provided scholarships to members of the Strawberry Festival Royal Court since 1968. Buell said they are inviting past royalty to attend and share their memories and experiences. “If you have any of your royal attire, bring it for others to see,” she said. “Royalty queens and princesses are the stars of the event.”. •

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Got talent? Strawberry Festival has a show for that


arysville has a bumper crop of show-stopping musicians, comedians and dancers, and you can watch them on stage at this year’s Strawberry Festival Talent Show. Contestants auditioned in early May, and the cream of the crop will perform at the talent show at 6:30 p.m. June 13 in the Marysville-Pilchuck High School Auditorium, 5611 108th St. NE “The talent just gets better each year,” organizer Marcy Giesler said. “Who knows, the next winner might just be your neighbor that you didn’t know had a hidden talent.” Giesler said the show will feature all kinds of performers from around the Pacific Northwest, including singers, musicians, dancers, bands and more. First-place winners in various categories receive a trophy. The overall winner receives a gift basket and gets to ride in the Grand Parade June 15 at 7:45 p.m. “We’re going to have another great year, and I’m looking for-

A highlight of the Marysville Strawberry Festival Talent Show each year is the young dancing troupes that are as cute as can be. (File Photo)

ward to all the new talent we have coming in,” Giesler said. Doors open at 5:30, but the show starts an hour later. Admission is $5 for tickets purchased in advance, and $7 at the door. To get your tickets in advance, contact Giesler at 360-653-6584. Children under 7 are free.. •

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Strawberry Festival adds Summer Showdown Car Show


he Marysville Strawberry Festival will be driving home the fun for car enthusiasts with the first-ever Summer Showdown Car Show in partnership with host Cars From the Northwest.

The event will happen from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. June 15 at Asbery Field. The event will feature owners showing off their favorite rides among a wide range of vehicles, from classics, imports and domestic cars to motorcycles. Organizers with Cars From the Northwest are registering participants to boost turnout, and encourage you to apply if you’ve got a vehicle that will impress festival-goers. The goal is about 100 cars. Price is $25 per car or truck and $15 per motorcycle, with a dash plate and swag bag given to participants. Awards will be presented around 3 p.m. to winners in various categories. The show is free to the public, who are invited to come peruse the vehicles and vote on which should win awards. Register at maryfest.wufoo.com/forms/zj3s0o30s2fliu/, or contact CarsFromTheNW@gmail.com, or visit the Cars From the NW Facebook page. •

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Funtastic Carnival rides, arcade games fun for entire family he Fantastic Carnival returns to the Marysville Strawberry Festival with thrilling amusement rides and arcade games that offer good old-fashioned fun for kids and parents

The carnival also features a dazzling midway with lots of games of skill and chance that will test prize-seeking festival-goers. Other arcade games such as rubber ducks making the rounds in a pond are all luck and no skill to win prizes. Along with amusement rides, classic carnival treats such as corn dogs, funnel cakes and ice drinks are also available for purchase. •

alike. The carnival will be on the Marysville Middle School playfield, 4923 67th Ave. NE. It plans to be open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. However, hours are subject to change based on the weather and when school is in session. “The carnival is a longtime attraction at the festival for kids and adults who like good old-fashioned family fun,” said Tom King, co-coordinator with the Strawberry Festival Market. Amusement rides include a ferris wheel, scrambler, octopus ride and the head-spinning Starship 2000. “The carnival has a good mix of rides,” King said. “Some are exciting for teens, while others are ones that adults and their children can ride together.”


Marysville Strawberry Festival | JUNE 2019


Kiwanis Beer Garden raises money for local youth programs


hether the weather is hot or not, the Marysville Kiwanis Club again will have its Beer Garden at Asbery Field during the Strawberry Festival.

If it’s hot, a cold one will taste nice and refreshing. But even if it’s not, Kiwanians hope you will stop by and support their cause which is raising money for scholarships for graduating seniors at Marysville high schools. Money also goes to other programs for youth in the community. The beer garden is conveniently located just north of the stage where all types of live bands perform all types of genres of music. To help cure your munchies, the Kiwanis Club provides free popcorn and peanuts. But if you buy food from the nearby vendors on Asbery Field, you are more than welcome to bring it inside the gated 21-year-old and older area. The beer garden will be open again this year on Friday from 5-10 p.m., Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. There is no entry fee. Beers on tap will include Bud and Bud Light, along with premium

The Marysville Kiwanis Beer Garden is a great place to get out of the sun or rain and enjoy a beverage to raise money for local youth programs. (File Photo)

beers to be announced. Whitewall Brewery, a Marysville company, will again makes its popular Strawberry-Cream Ale to go along with the theme of the festival. The Kiwanians also will be serving wine - two whites and two reds. Different types of ‘Ritas also will be sold. Cost for each drink is $6. •

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The Market is central place for music, goods, treat and eats


f you’re looking for live music, a beer and wine garden, gift items for dad’s day and carnival eats and treats, the Market at Asbery Field is where you will want to be. The Market is the central meeting place for the weekend’s festival activities, where fair-goers can peruse over 100 food vendors, crafts and commercial booths for hand-made items for the home, Market coordinator Tom King said. The market at 4th Street and Alder Avenue will run from 2-9 p.m. Friday, June 14, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 15 (food vendors open until 9 p.m.) and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, June 16. “Spend the day, grab a bite to eat, listen to some great music and find just the right gift or goodies in time for Father’s Day,” King said. The band entertainment stage is relocated in the northeast corner of Asbery Field so performers can play and be heard not only by fair-goers along food row and among the market aisles, but also by those in the Kiwanis beer and wine garden on 7th Street. Friday live music opens with the Marysville School Jazz Band from 4-6 p.m., followed by the blues sounds of Jenny & the Blue Moon Boys from 7-9 p.m. Rock and roll rules Saturday featuring the Beatles tribute band Lonely Hearts Club 24

mances, followed by rock band No Rules wrapping up music at the festival at 3 p.m. Kids can’t stay still at the market and they need a little activity to channel all that fair food energy. We recommend the annual market favorites the rock climbing wall, pony rides, free trampoline jumps and mini-train rides. from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., followed by The Fabulous Murphtones from 2-4 p.m. and Marysville’s Aardvarks Utd. closing parade day with rock, blues and disco from 5-7 p.m. Sunday offers blues band No Buffer from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., with No Rules wrapping pu the festival Voice of the Village Sunday’s perfor-

This year brings back the ultimate thrill to Asbery: a Euro Bungy Trampoline ride where fair-goers can jump to new heights on a huge trampoline while attached to a harness and bungy cords. More than two dozen food vendors will be ready with mouth-watering eats including

hand-dipped hot dogs, corn dogs, hamburgers, barbecue dishes (some sauces with a hint of strawberry, maybe?), quesadillas, mouth-watering pulled pork, teriyaki and curry favorties, gyros and other grilled Greek food, roasted corn and potatoes cut all sorts of ways. If carnival sweet treats and cool drinks are more to your liking, there will be shave ice, ice cream, frozen yogurt, Italian ice, lemonades, steamy crepes, cotton candy, fried bananas with fixings, kettle corn and elephant ears. Most importantly, save room for the strawberry shortcake, an annual fundraiser provided by Marysville’s Masonic Temple at their red-painted stand. MARKET continued page 25>

Marysville Strawberry Festival | JUNE 2019

> MARKET continued from page 24 For adults, check out the Kiwanis Beer and Wine Garden. Hours are Friday 5-10 p.m., Saturday noon-9 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m. Bring in your food purchased from nearby festival vendors if the table-side popcorn and peanuts supplied by Kiwanis don’t count as a meal. The Marysville Community Food Bank will conduct a food drive during the three-day market, so bring a nonperishable food item and help those less fortunate. King said the festival went to extra effort to attract more crafters to the market this year, and the results won’t disappoint. Browsers will see plenty of unique jewelry and accessories, decorative hand-crafted and laser-designed wood signs, dream catchers, chainsaw art, hand-crafted soaps and bath products, tye dye clothing and much more. •

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Every rose has its place of honor in memorial garden


art of the tradition of the Marysville Strawberry Festival is the planting of a rose in the April Friesner Memorial Garden at Totem Middle School.

The Royal Rosarians from Portland, Ore., have been planting roses there since 2001. Maryfest was the 13th festival to join the Northwest Festival Hosting Association. Each year they honor a member of Maryfest, the volunteer organization that puts on the festival, or some organization or community leader. For example, in 2001 they honored parks director Jim Ballew and then-Maryfest president Carol Kapua. The Rose Planting Ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. June 15. The Rosarians, dressed in their white suits and red ties, will plant the rose with Maryfest president Jodi Hiatt. The Rosarians plant the rose and bless it. A plaque is placed in front of the rose saying who it is for and the type of rose it is. Freisner was a co-director of Maryfest who died in 2004. The garden was named after her the following year. The public is welcome, and some food and drink is provided. •

This Artistry rose was planted in the memorial garden in honor of thenMaryfest president Carol Kapua in 2001. (Steve Powell/Staff Photo)


Heck with how good it tastes, just eat it fast


ating Strawberry Shortcake is one of the simple guilty pleasures of life.

The sweet, refreshing coolness of the berries mixed with the not-as-sweet but soft shortcake. The juice from the strawberries just adds tantalizing taste to the treat. It’s almost not necessary, but go ahead, add some whipped cream, which makes everything taste better.

The Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest at the Marysville festival is almost as much fun to watch as it is to eat. (Herald File)

It’s the type of dessert that should be eaten slowing, closing your eyes to focus only on your tastebuds in your mouth.

But there are prizes in six categories:

Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?

•Ages 5-7, 1-1:30 p.m.

Well, now just toss all that out the window.

•Ages 8-10, 1:30-1:45 p.m.

Because at the Marysville Strawberry Festival there is a Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest. The goal is not to savor every bite.

•Ages 11-13, 1:45-2 p.m.

No, to the contrary, the goal is to eat it as fast as you can. It’s an oxymoron isn’t it? But if you have the willpower, you can give it a try.

•Ages 14-17, 2-2:30 p.m. •Adults, open, 2:30-3 p.m. •Sponsored or challenges, 3 p.m. to the last person.

The contest takes place June 15 starting at 1 p.m. at Asbery Field.

The contest is sponsored by Biringer Farm and Marysville Masonic Crystal Lodge #122.

Festival royalty will take part, being careful, of course, not to spill on their gowns.

Bring applications to the contest or apply online at www.maryfest.org/shortcake

There is a cost. It’s $3 for children and $5 for teens and adults. 26

Check in 15 minutes prior to when your category begins. •

Marysville Strawberry Festival | JUNE 2019


Free pro wrestling show new part of festival


ome people may think it’s funny. Others may think it’s corny. Others may think it’s real.

But however you feel about professional wrestling, it’s entertaining. The Marysville Strawberry Festival will offer two free CTW Combat Wrestling shows at Asbery Field June 15. One is set for 1 p.m., the other at 4 p.m. Maryfest president Jodi Hiatt said CTW wrestling has been popular at the Living Room Coffee House. They contacted Maryfest, which sent some representatives to watch. “The texts back to us were hilarious,” Hiatt said, adding one wrestler dressed as a slice of pizza and another a superhero. She said about eight wrestlers from Portland to Puget Sound will participate. No word yet if Jack Black of Nacho Libre fame will appear, or if Hulk Hogan will make a guest appearance. Are you ready to rumble? •

Two free professional wrestling shows at Asbery Field are part of this year’s Marysville Strawberry Festival entertainment lineup. (Courtesy Photo)




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Kids rule the festival Kiddies Parade he Marysville Strawberry Festival celebrates its community’s kids so much, they get their own parade.

The Kiddies Parade on 7th Street NE at Totem Middle School is an opportunity for them and their families to shine, on June 15, same day as the Twilight Grand Parade. Children join in from around the area to dress in costume, convert wagons into dazzling floats and decorate their bikes with flowers, while dancers and gymnastics teams bring more movement of color to the parade.

sized floats that tie into the festival theme, which this year is a social media theme built around #marysvilleWA and other hashtags. Registration starts at 5 p.m., with judging tentatively at 5:30 p.m., followed by the parade at 6 p.m. The parade is open to children ages 12 and younger. After that parade, festival royalty meet with participants to present awards in five parade categories: Wheels, Costumes, Pets, Groups and Floats. No motorized vehicles are permitted. The overall winner qualifies to participate in the Grand Parade at 7:45 that same evening, unless parents think it is past their pintsized moppets’ bedtime. Entrants can apply online at www.maryfest.org, but walkups at the last minute are OK, too. •

“It’s important for kids to be able to take part in the festival at an event that is just for them,” said Michelle Sato, volunteer parade coordinator. “It’s fun to see their imagination come through in their costumes and parade flair.” The parade benefits from regular involvement from groups such as Rising Stars Gymnastics, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. The pets category has attracted costumed dogs and miniature horses (owners are responsible to clean up after their animals.) Some participating families spend months constructing wagon-

Last year’s victor in the Kiddies Parade, featuring a dinosaur, is shown here being part of the Twilight Grand Parade after winning the competition. (File Photo)


Marysville Strawberry Festival | JUNE 2019


Strawberry Festival Twilight Parade makes annual march through downtown Marysville


uring the Marysville Strawberry Festival, nothing draws more spectators, more social media buzz and more hashtags than the sensational sights and sounds of the Twilight Grand Parade. Whether you hashtag #marysvilleWA, #mville, #selfie or #smile, the festival’s sparkling, colorful parade is a cameraready downtown tradition that you’ll want to enjoy firsthand with family, and share with the peeps in your virtual community. The 88th annual Strawberry Festival Grand Parade starts at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday, June 15. This year’s parade will feature a flotilla of more than 100 whimsical and elaborate floats, marching bands, drum corps and bagpipers, drill teams, VIPs, local businesses, and senior center royalty interspersed with parade entries that present a slice of life in Marysville, Tulalip and the surrounding communities. Antique and show-ready cars, pirates, cowboys and clowns usually make an appearance, adding to the merrymaking revelry. PARADE continued page 30 >


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STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL GRAND PARADE > PARADE continued from page 29 The festival draws over 100,000 spectators to Marysville each year, with a sizable portion of community members and visitors lining the sidewalks along State Avenue for a front-row view of the menagerie of entries that follows. Floats from communities around the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia participate, and since it’s a parade that gradually gives over to night, the floats are usually lit up. The Marysville senior and junior royalty will ride atop the Marysville float. This year’s theme is #marysvilleWA, with strawberries prominent among a collection of social media icons to encourage parade-goers to enjoy being in the moment, update your “smiling emojis,” set cameras to “selfie,” and share images and texts of your experience online. It’s all about making shared memories that will last, organizers said. Bands usually include Marysville-Pilchuck and Marysville Getchell high schools, with seniors wearing their graduation robes to help out the underclassmen. Cheer squads often accompany the bands. Roving vendors will sell treats and other food on the streets, along with inflatable toys and other knicknacks. •


Marysville Strawberry Festival | JUNE 2019

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The social media-themed 2019 Marysville Strawberry Festival float took its maiden voyage at the Apple Blossom Festival Parade May 4 in Wenatchee.


Strawberry Festival folks hope 2019 parade float is one to ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ he art of float building is a long and winding road, with bumps along the way.

Just ask the hard-working volunteers who build, maintain and retrofit the Marysville Strawberry Festival float each year. Even with the sturdiest construction, things can go wrong that can stop a parade. Like last year during the Seattle Seafair Torchlight Parade on Marysville’s musicthemed float when a strawberry-bodied drummer, secured above three horn-playing bandmates, fell from his perch when the driver went over a speed bump. “We lost Ringo there,” said board member and Market organizer Tom King. Ba da bump. Mishaps are just part of the trial and error that goes into float-building. “Building the float is a lot of hard work,” said Jodi Hiatt, president of the Maryfest organization that hosts the annual strawberry festival. 32

Hiatt said the float can take up to 200 hours and six weeks to build with a half dozen volunteers working on it. “It’s not just the physical labor involved with building it either; we have to start building it in our minds first.” Longtime volunteer and industrious board member Ed Giesler led a float-building crew that included King, Gail Frost, Darrell Wigdahl, Michelle and Micah Sato, and others. From the festival office garage at 1408 1st St. by Ebey Waterfront Park, they stripped down the pieces from the last float, screwed in new attachments, checked the float’s in-board generator, batteries, brakes, motors and other mechanical and dashboard components to ready the vehicle for decorating. While King is focused more on the maintenance side of the float, keeping things simple – and avoiding parts falling off – he likes this year’s theme for going beyond the traditional.

“The theme and float are more in tune with 2019,” he said. “Technology has changed so much.” Michelle Sato championed the social media theme, which is centered around the hashtag #marysvilleWA. The float is decked out with an array of technical wizardry, while lots more LED lighting has been installed to ensure that it’s wellilluminated especially after dark. “There are rotating squares advertising Facebook and Instagram because we definitely want people to follow us,” she said. “Then, we have a digital reader board on the back that tells people who our royalty are, and asks people at the parades we’re in to come see us the third week in June in Marysville, and have their Instagram and Facebook handles on there as well.” A huge cell phone at the front of the float displaying several popular social media app icons lights up at night.

FLOAT continued page 16 > Marysville Strawberry Festival | JUNE 2019

> FLOAT continued from page 14 The back end of the float has an enormous “Berrycam” spitting out large Strawberry Festival Polaroids. The original paint job by volunteers needed a little help, and got it thanks to a royalty member’s mother who added her creative talents and glitzed it up. Other float features include smiley-faced emojis riding bicycles against a motif of lighted evergreen trees to create a Pacific Northwest feel. If parade-goers look closely, they will also notice Bigfoot hanging onto a large #PNW sign. “I feel like people are going to get the full sensory experience when they’re watching the parade, and hopefully interacting,” Sato said. For Frost, this was her first time building a float. “It was quite an experience since I’ve never paid any attention to floats in my whole life,” she said. “I really didn’t know what I was getting into, and I’m not a creative person. She said a lot of the work was trial and error because most of the floatbuilding team members were new to it like her. “What didn’t I work on?” Marysville is one of more than a dozen members of the Northwest Festivals Hosting Association that in simplest terms holds that if you bring your float to our parade, we’ll bring ours to yours. The parade tour includes the Seattle Seafair Torchlight Parade, Portland Rose Parades and others in British Columbia. Sato is curious to see spectators’ reactions to the float. “We’ll see how it hashes out, because we definitely went with a different theme,” she said. •



Two eye-drawing features on the Strawberry Festival’s social mediathemed float are the Berrycam seen spitting out Polaroid pictures of strawberries at the back, mascot Jammer posing in a “hashtag” picture frame, and a smiley-faced emoji having the time of its life.



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aryfest, an all-volunteer group, organizes and puts on the Marysville Strawberry Festival every year, with the help of donations from sponsors of course. The Maryfest Board of Directors is the governing body for the festival. The board is composed of 15 established and dedicated community members who volunteer their time yearround to plan, organize and carry out the annual Strawberry Festival to the delight of 100,000 visitors. The diverse group includes several community and business leaders - including City Councilman Tom King and School Board Director Chris


Nation - who also have prior volunteer experience serving on the board. For the second-straight year, Jodi Hiatt is the president. Other officers include: Nation, president-elect; Ed Giesler, vice president; Jodi Condyles , secretary; and Art Maldonado , treasurer. Other board members include: Jim Brennick, Leslie Buell, Carol Kupua, Gail Frost, Jennifer Hansen, King, Veronica Love, Alice VanBeek, Darrell Wigdahl, and Cara McCoy. Working with other committed volunteers, board members take on additional leadership roles to plan and deliver the variety of events across the

nine-day festival that culminates in the Twilight Grand Parade. Several volunteers take time away from work to make sure the festival is as spectacular as can be. The group works year-round organizing the various events, such as the Talent Show, Fashion Show, Grand Parade, Berry Run, Market in the Park and working on the float. Members not only appear in the parade in Marysville, but they also travel all over the Pacific Northwest representing the city in many other parades as well, along with the float and royalty. Maryfest also hosts other communities when they come here for the parade. That includes









accommodations, receptions, a formal or semi-formal dinner, entertainment and a farewell breakfast. The Strawberry Festival wouldn’t be possible without the contributions from the Board of Directors, Officers and outstanding volunteers who make Marysville’s mostpopular and longest-running festival the exciting, memorable event that it is. •




Not pictured: Carol Kapua, Gail Frost, Cara McCoy


Marysville Strawberry Festival | JUNE 2019


2019 Traveling Float Schedule


he Strawberry Festival float and royalty take the show on the road each year to help boost parades in communities in Washington, as well as Oregon and British Columbia, Canada.

April 6

Daffodil Festival

July 21

Chinatown Parade

May 4

Wenatchee Apple Blossom Festival

July 24

Greenwood Parade

May 11 Sequim Irrigation Festival

July 27

Seattle Seafair Torchlight Parade

May 18 Port Townsend Rhododendron Fest.

Aug. 3

Lake City Parade

May 18 Spokane Lilac Festival

Aug. 10 Penticton (Can.) Peach Festival

May 25 New Westminster (Can.) Hyack Fest.

Aug. 31 Ellensburg Rodeo

June 1

Portland Starlight Parade

Sept. 2

Prosser States Day

June 8

Portland Rose Festival

Sept. 7

Hope (Can.)

June 15 Marysville Strawberry Festival

Sept. 28 Leavenworth Autumn Leaf Fest.

June 29 Port Orchard Fathoms of Fun

Oct. 5

Issaquah Salmon Days

July 4

Sedro-Woolley 4th of July Parade

Dec. 7

Merrysville for the Holidays

July 20

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Marysville rolls out the red carpet when other festival, parade dignitaries come to town for Strawberry Festival


glance at the nine-day Strawberry Festival schedule of events gives visitors more than enough ways to spend their time in Marysville, but for festival volunteers, there are so many more tasks and activities behind the scenes than meet the eye. Maryfest, the organization that puts on the Strawberry Festival, is a longtime proud member of the Northwest Festival Hosting Group, an organization made up of nine festivals throughout the Pacific Northwest. Maryfest joined this close knit group in 2001 operating philosophy is to work together and commit to supporting each other by sending a delegation to each member’s festival. By being a part of Northwest Festivals, Marysville can rely on the participation of at least 10 other community floats/festivals in our Grand Parade. A hosting package is offered at each community’s festival which generally includes accommodations, receptions, a formal or semi-formal dinner, entertainment, and a farewell breakfast on Sunday morning. Of course, the members are also participating in the Grand Parade. Last year before the Strawberry Festival, volunteers Sandie Phipps and Cheryl Robinson organized Marysville’s Northwest Hospitality Weekend on parade weekend at the Holiday Inn Express, with a hospitality room in the hotel’s Event Center. The President’s Reception welcomed dignitaries from the other participant-toting community festival organizations, with an evening of socializing, dinner, a choir and magician. Other welcoming activities over the weekend include a VIP Reception on parade day, and breakfast provided by the hotel. This year’s hosting is being coordinated by board member Alice VanBeek. 36

A community choir performs at a President’s Reception Dinner hosted by Maryfest in Marysville’s Holiday Inn Express Event Center last June during the Strawberry Festival Parade weekend. Maryfest is a longtime member of the Northwest Festival Hosting Group, putting on dinners, entertainment and a farewell breakfast to welcome dignitaries from other festivals and parades. Strawberry Festival Royalty also led attendees in the “Do the Strawberry Jam” Dance, while a local magician brought a little magic and comedy to the event.

When the Marysville parade entourage takes to the road, they are afforded the same sort of welcome when they arrive in other parade communities. Marysville’s hard-working volunteers who accompany the float spend hours setting up, operat-

ing, and tearing down the float, in addition to making the rounds meeting with their counterparts for official activities. For many midday parades, it isn’t unusual to depart Marysville at 4 a.m., depending on distances and whether an overnight stay is required. •

Marysville Strawberry Festival | JUNE 2019

Strawberry Festival office moves to waterfront


arysville Strawberry Festival organizers celebrated the relocation of their new office last fall. Maryfest President Jodi Hiatt said people won’t have trouble finding it – just head to the waterfront on First Street. “Somebody asked me, what building?” Hiatt said. I told her, “The only building. There’s no other ones on the block.” Specifically, the new location is the former Baxter Auto Supply at 1412 First St., now owned by the city of Marysville. With most of the building facade improvements completed, the office space, merchandise and wall of parade plaques and trophies in place, and the festival float parked in the garage bay, the organization was ready to welcome the some 60 or so visitors who stopped by for tours, barbecue, a raffle, music, photos with dancing berry mascot Jammer, volunteer award presentations, and details about the all-volunteer Maryfest. Hiatt said the open house was also an opportunity to attract new members. It’s a common misconception that Maryfest is only busy a couple months before the June Strawberry Festival, when actually the organization is year-round, attending other parades with the Strawberry Festival float in tow, in exchange for those other communities’ floats appearing in Marysville’s parade. Membership Chairwoman and board member Jennifer Hansen

The relocated Strawberry Festival is located 1412 First St. by Ebey Waterfront Park.

said, “You can become a member and support the festival, but you don’t have to volunteer if you don’t want to.” Individual memberships are $25 a year; business memberships are $125. More details are available on the website at www. maryfest.org. •

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‘Strawberry Lady’ will miss like and home on Spencer Island


Gone are the gazebo and miniature chapel. And a barrel train, pulled by a tractor, that used to transport kids at the Pig Out is now at Stocker Farms in Snohomish. “That was hard for me to give up,” Biringer said.

ianna Biringer is surrounded by memories. She’s been packing up the Spencer Island farmhouse she and her husband Mike have shared for 34 years. Outside, no strawberries grow on more than 300 acres between Everett and Marysville, land they bought in 1974. Someday soon, property they sold to the Port of Everett years ago will revert to an intertidal marsh. Sooner than that, “the house, it’ll go down,” said Biringer. “We need to be out of here by June 1. We have known for years.” The port bought Biringer Farm, about 350 acres, in the mid1990s for a habitat project it now calls Blue Heron Slough. It’s similar to Snohomish River estuary efforts by the Tulalip Tribes, Snohomish County and the city of Everett. According to a May 3 article by Herald writer Noah Haglund, the port’s project will flood farmland long kept dry by dikes, with the goal of supporting endangered Chinook salmon. Mike and Dianna Biringer, both 82, are still farming. When she and Mike were married in 1961, Dianna said he told her, “Don’t try to take the farmer out of me — and I never want to retire.” In Arlington, strawberry plants are in full bloom at their current Biringer Farm, along Highway 530 at 59th Avenue NE. “We are leasing 60 acres,” she said. Their son, Gary Biringer, 53, works at the Arlington farm and runs Biringer’s Black Crow Pumpkins & Corn Maze. 38

Dianna and husband Mike Biringer’s charming 1910 farmhouse on Spencer Island will soon be history, but the “Strawberry Lady” is still in the berry business. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

When they leave the Spencer Island house where they’ve lived since 1985, they’ll settle in Arlington. She’s not saying exactly where, but admitted she’ll miss the wide open spaces. Known on the Biringer Farm’s website as “The Strawberry Lady,” Dianna is nostalgic as she prepares for the move that would finish in May. In the cheery kitchen of the 1910 house, the decor is all strawberries — a tablecloth and place mats, a cookie jar and teapot, planters on a window sill, a wall’s stenciled berries, and aprons hanging in a corner. The Biringers’ sweeping view takes in the snow-capped Olympics from one direction, Mount Pilchuck from the other. “I love where we are, seeing Mount Rainier and all the creatures. I have my head in the clouds all the time. I love the sky,” she said. “It’s been just wonderful.”

Outside the old yellow house, in what looks like a ghost town, are reminders of a oncepopular seasonal attraction. For two decades, during the Marysville Strawberry Festival, Biringer Farm hosted Pig Out on the Farm. The last Pig Out brought crowds to the farm in June 2008. Three TV stations were there to mark the end of an era, Dianna Biringer said. On Wednesday, she walked through what’s left. There’s a ramshackle westernstyle building, still with its faded “Fort Coyote” sign. A spiral staircase leads to the precarious-looking wooden goat bridge, dubbed “Galloping Gertie.” A fruit stand where U-pick customers once lined up to pay for berries is still there. Dried cornstalks, scarecrows and the “boo barn” are left from years when the old Biringer Farm sold pumpkins and hosted loads of school groups.

With the Pig Out and other activities, she was an early entrepreneur in what’s now known as agritainment. “We don’t claim we were the first,” said Biringer, adding “Mike is the farmer, I’m the one to allow people to have fun.” At the Biringers’ Arlington farm, an early strawberry variety, Sweet Sunrise, could be ready by late May. Finding enough pickers is a huge challenge. “We’re taking applications online,” Biringer said. In some past years, the farm had 100 paid pickers, in addition to U-pick crowds. Now, it can be as few as five people. Biringer Farm will have two off-site stands selling berries in the county, one on Marysville’s State Avenue near Burger Mill, the other on 196th in Lynnwood. Melody Biringer, the couple’s daughter, also has a strawberry stand at Seattle Center near the Space Needle. Life on the land continues, but not as it once was.“You know, life changes. You just have to roll with it,” Dianna Biringer said. “It’s going to be interesting getting used to neighbors.” This article by reporter Julie Muhlstein appeared originally in the May 12, 2019 edition of The Daily Herald. •

Marysville Strawberry Festival | JUNE 2019







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Strawberry Festival - Strawberry Festival 2019