PONCHATOULA, La. (WGNO) — More than 300,000 people are expected to flood Ponchatoula this weekend ahead of the city’s 51st Annual Strawberry Festival. Prior to the weekend’s events, Louisiana State Police has provided alternate traffic routes to help keep traffic flowing and ensure a safe weekend for everyone.

From New Orleans

Take the Causeway Bridge into Mandeville and proceed to LA 22 west into Ponchatoula.

From Covington/Slidell

Exit Interstate 12 Westbound at LA 445 exit #47, proceed south to LA 22, then continue west on LA 22 into Ponchatoula.

From Mandeville

Take LA 22 west into Ponchatoula.

From Baton Rouge

Exit Interstate 12 Eastbound at Pumpkin Center exit #35, proceed south to LA 22, then continue east on LA 22 into Ponchatoula.

Additionally, here are some safety tips to ensure everyone has a safe and fun weekend:

  • Do not drive distracted
  • If you are traveling with children, take a photo of your child the day of the event so authorities know exactly what your child looks like if they get lost
  • Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin
  • Before drinking, please designate a sober driver and give that person your keys
  • If you’re impaired, call a taxi, rideshare service, or a sober friend/family member for a safe ride home
  • If you encounter a suspected impaired driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement
  • If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely
  • Always buckle up, the proper use of seatbelts continues to be the single most effective precaution taken to greatly reduce the chances of being seriously injured or killed in the event of a crash.