By Josh Norsen*
CHASSELL -- The 62nd annual Copper Country Strawberry Festival is underway today, Friday, July 9, in Chassell and offers activities that appeal to all ages: food, parades, live music, wagon rides, arts and crafts -- and, of course, plenty of strawberry shortcake. The festival runs through Saturday afternoon, July 10.
Events kick off Friday morning at Centennial Park with strawberry shortcake, brats, ice cream and other delicious treats all day until 9 p.m. Arts and crafts are being exhibited and sold in Centennial Park, while Holy Trinity Lutheran Church is hosting a quilt show (all day until 6 p.m.) that benefits the Copper Country Humane Society. Other events today, Friday, include the following:
Noon - 6 p.m. -- Chassell Heritage Center open house.
2 p.m. - 5 p.m. -- Horse-drawn wagon rides.
4 p.m. -- Enjoy the fish boil. (It is strongly recommended to purchase $9 tickets in advance).
5 p.m. -- Strawberry judging.
6 p.m. -- Children's Parade begins.
7 p.m. -- Adult and Youth Citizens of the Year are recognized, with the sounds of the strawberry auction in the background.
8 p.m. -- The Strawberry Festival Queen will be selected from a field of 13 candidates and crowned.
9 p.m. -- Dance at the Chassell VFW.**
"One of the more popular events is the queen crowning," said William Leonard, Chassell Lions Club member.
Leonard said the judges base the contest on personality, talent and community service. Queen candidates serve the community during the festival by preparing berries for shortcake and have been doing so since 1949.
Saturday, July 10, will also feature a variety of activities:
6:30 a.m. - 10 a.m. -- Pancake and sausage breakfast in the firehall.
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. --Arts and crafts exhibit and another full complement of food available in the park.
11 a.m. -- Strawberry Parade with cash prizes awarded to the most creative entries. BBQ chicken will be served after the parade by the fire department and first responders.
11 a.m. - 4 p.m. -- Quilt Show at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.
Noon - 3 p.m. -- More horse-drawn wagon rides along with live music by The Country Drifters.
Noon - 4 p.m. -- Chassell Heritage Center open house.
1 p.m. - 4 p.m. -- Free 45-minute excursions for children age seven and older on the scientific research vessel Agassiz.
2 p.m. -- Friends of Fashion vintage fashion show; children's games.
3 p.m. -- Open mic at the pavilion.
The Strawberry Festival draws participants from far and near with its activities and entertainment; yet, according to organizers, it accomplishes much more.
"It raises money to do projects and puts money back into the community," said Leonard, who, with his wife, Nancy Leonard, has helped organize the festival for several years. "I think it creates a general good feeling from everyone working together."
*Editor's Note: Guest reporter Josh Norsen is a student in David Clanaugh's summer journalism class at Michigan Tech University. This is the first of several articles students will be contributing to Keweenaw Now during July and August.
** Setting it straight. Keweenaw Now's editor, not the above author, mentioned in this schedule that the band playing Friday night would be Cheap Therapy. This was an error we copied from another Web site. We apologize to Mr. Norsen and to our readers for this error, now removed from the article.