Assuming you’re a lowly casual who hasn’t delved into the history of Troy, Ohio, you probably aren’t aware of the key components that make the Troy Strawberry Festival what is is today. Here are 5 odd things about the festival that we bet you never knew about until now:
1. The Origin
You probably didn’t know that the Troy Strawberry Festival’s inaugural year was 1910. You also probably didn’t know that it was founded in an attempt to outdo Casstown’s infamous Binder Clip Festival, which is still held annually on the same weekend as the Strawberry Festival.
2. Strawberries Were Never Troy’s First Choice
In the festival’s early stages, locals planned to create an “Oil Sap Festival.” They were quickly rejected by the Dayton Oil Sap Council, settling for the “Troy Strawberry Festival” despite overwhelming public backlash. At the time, locals were not familiar with strawberries:
3. Nobody In Troy Had Seen A Strawberry Until 1982.
For decades, locals paraded around Troy’s downtown square to worship what was considered a mythical berry. Everything changed in 1982 when a barefooted adventurer returned from vacation to Bethlehem with a bin full of red, seeded fruits.
4. The Festival Was Almost Rebranded “The Slim Jim Festival”
When ConAgra Foods opened their Troy plant in 2006, company executives placed a bid of 4.3 million dollars to claim the name of Troy’s annual festival. The effort failed, as Mayor Beamish never opened the email that contained the offer.
5. The Strawberry Festival Is Now Just Cover For An Underground Trade Ring
Once known for bed races and fruit culture, the Troy Strawberry Festival is now just a place for bad people to sell junk food and firearms. In just one weekend per year, festival vendors distribute thousands of illegal weapons under the guise of wooden rubber band guns. Over 4,000 children under age 12 purchase these weapons each year.