PONCHATOULA, La. (WGNO) — Louisiana’s largest free harvest festival will kick off once again in the Strawberry Capital of the World this spring. That’s right, we’re talking about the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, sponsored by WGNO!
This year marks the 51st anniversary of the first Strawberry Festival that kicked off in 1972. Back then, the parade was operating on a $500 budget and brought in about 15,000 people. Today, the parade welcomes an estimated 300,000 visitors with a more than $300,000 budget. Talk about humble beginnings!
WGNO staff will be live at the parade at 5 and 6 PM on Friday, April 14. Stop by and say hi! In the meantime, here’s a look at what you can expect at this year’s Strawberry Fest.
Louisiana State Police: How to get to Strawberry Fest
From New Orleans
Take the Causeway Bridge into Mandeville and proceed to LA 22 west into Ponchatoula
Exit Interstate 12 Westbound at LA 445 exit #47, proceed south to LA 22, then
continue west on LA 22 into Ponchatoula.
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.
Gallery: What to expect at Strawberry Fest 2023
Strawberry Festival Parade
The Strawberry Festival Parade kicks off at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 15. See the map below.
FRIDAY, APRIL 14
- 5:30-7:30 PM Clay Cormier & The Highway Boys
- 8:15-10:15 PM Souled Out
- 5:00-7:00 PM 3rd Street Band
- 7:45-9:45 PM Yeah You Right Band
SATURDAY, APRIL 15
- 11:00 AM Strawberry Royalty Introduction
- 1:45 PM Parade Winner Announcement
- 1:45-2:15 PM Strawberry Eating Contest
- 11:45-1:45 PM Ferg’s Highway
- 2:15-4:15 PM Beaucoop Boogie
- 4:15-4:30 PM Egg Toss
- 5:30-7:45 PM The Dominos
- 8:30-10:30 PM Dukes of Country
- 12:30-2:30 PM Lindsey Cardinale
- 3:00-5:00 PM The Eighty’s Experience Band
- 5:30-7:30 PM Thomas Cain
- 8:00-10:00 PM Parish County Line
SUNDAY, APRIL 16
- 9:00 AM Church Service
- 11:00-11:15 AM Egg Toss
- 11:30-1:00 PM Nashville South
- 1:00-1:30 PM Strawberry Eating Contest
- 1:30-3:30 PM No Idea Band
- 4:00-6:00 PM The Phunky Monkeys
- 11:00-12:30 PM Will Vance
- 1:00-3:00 PM Peyton Falgoust Band
- 3:30-5:30 PM Tyler Kinchen & The Right Pieces
Rides and Tickets
Here’s the ride schedule for Strawberry Fest:
- FRIDAY, 4/14: 12PM – 10:30PM
- SATURDAY, 4/15: 9AM – 11PM
- SUNDAY, 4/16: 10AM – 6PM
Officials say it can cost between three and five tickets to ride. Tickets will only be sold on festival grounds and are $1.50 for one, or $30 for an armband.
Armbands can only be used on Friday from 12-5PM. All other times will require tickets.
Strawberry Eating Contest
What would Strawberry Fest be without the classic strawberry eating contest? Taking place on the north stage (see map above), hungry festivalgoers will unite for a fresh taste of spring and summertime.
- SATURDAY, 4/15: 1:45pm
- SUNDAY, 4/16: 1:00pm
Stay updated with the latest news, weather, and sports by downloading the WGNO app on the Apple or Google Play store and subscribing to the WGNO newsletter.
- How to make DIY air purifiers that filter out wildfire smoke
- What to know about Trump’s latest indictment and what’s next
- What to watch as Trump, DeSantis, Pence speak at North Carolina GOP convention
- Republicans buckle down for what could be marathon blockade
- Trump immediately fundraises after saying he was indicted in documents probe