Owego Strawberry Festival

Last Updated on May 8, 2023 by Gary Stephen

The annual celebration of the Owego Strawberry Festival started in the year 1980. It is commemorated every June 3rd week. Since its inception, the Owego Strawberry Festival has drawn thousands of visitors to Owego each year to experience various fun events, entertainment shows, outstanding competitions, and handcrafted stores. 

What took place during Owego Strawberry Festival in 2016? 

The festival commenced last June 17-18, 2016. A lot of exciting events took place for the 3 days celebration. The downtown streets were lined with more than 200 vendors and artisans. People enjoyed the terrific selection of arts and crafts. Additionally, visitors didn’t miss trying the mouthwatering and delicious foods prepared by the locals. Merchants never failed to surprise every tourist as many fine restaurants and shops are always brimming with unique products. Distinctive merchandise is truly a hidden gem in Owego, and some refer to it as “The best-kept secret in the Southern Tier!” My personal favorite is the hanging strawberry plants

On the 17th of June 2016, the sky was filled with magnificent and jaw-dropping lights during the fireworks display. A live performance with ten bands brought more energy and joy to the night party.  The expected annual events like the “Straw Dogs Strut Their Stuff” Contest transpired. The pageant fans gave their ultimate support to their personal bets as they hail the newest Miss or Mrs. Strawberry. People of all ages joined the 5K Race and Kids’ 1 Mile Run. Usual contests that showcase the Owego community’s creativity like rubber Ducky Derby, a “Berry Best” Strawberry Hat Contest also embarked. 

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One of the most awaited events during the festival is the Wine or Beer Tasting. 5$ per person is the cost of wine tasting tent admission for both patrons and guests. ID is required for identity confirmation. Guests are welcome to taste wines from any of the merchants. In the year 2016, the featured pubs and wines are: Pazdar Winery, Lakeland Winery, Americana Vineyards, and The Farm House Brewery. Everyone is encouraged to consume alcohol responsibly. In order to secure peace and order during the event, overindulgent festival-goers were vacated by the police in the tent tasting premises. There are sealed bottles of wine for sale at each vineyard booth. Wine can be stored on-site and picked up when patrons are ready to leave the festival for a particular day. Tourists made sure to stock up during the festival as many of the wines are hard to find outside the actual winery. 

What are the events during the 35th Owego Strawberry Festival in the year 2015? 

Rain, wind, heat, and cold have never been a hindrance to the celebration of the Owego Strawberry Festival. In their 35th year, the event organizers and locals appreciated how a large number of festival-goers constantly commemorated and relished with them every summer. The strawberries ripened in one way or another and made their way into the diverse, delicious sweets and decorations that adorned the festival grounds. Local retailers, restaurants, non-profit organizations, as well as over 200 unique food, craft, and activity artisan or vendors warmly welcomed tourists and patrons on the 17th to 18th day of June in the year 2015. 

The Friday Night Block Party has been the perfect place to bond with family and friends. The bigger fireworks light up the whole venue. Guests sang, danced, and grooved with the ten talented local musicians’ live performances. Children had a great time being entertained by the bicycle stunt show, jugglers, and kid-friendly puppet shows.

An Owego native and proficient artist, Michael Husted has developed a special poster to mark the 35th anniversary. The downtown merchant district sold an autographed limited-edition poster during the festival.

The newest King and Queen of the Strawberry Festival were crowned at the Courthouse Square, Gazebo Side, last June 19, 2015. Pet owners exhibited the skills of their fur babies as they joined the  “Strawberry Dogs Strut Their Stuff” Contest. 

Reena Roma bagged the first prize in the strawberry hat decorating contest.  Owego Gymnastics & Activity Center stood out during the parade and won. After that, Owego Junior Football & Cheerleading was awarded the second place trophy. Judges and locals were amazed by the creativity of Kathy Hansen School of Dance, which was announced as first place for the float competition. St. Patrick’s School made it to second place. 

What is the most popular event during the 35th Owego Strawberry Festival? 

The festival parade was the most awaited event last 2015. The march lasts for 90 minutes. Stunning horses, marching bands, antique automobiles, tractors, dance groups, floats galore made the streets and gardens cheerful and extra colorful! From Spencer Avenue to Court Street, the parade headed along Main Street then turned left onto Court Street, shifted left onto Front Street; and turned right onto Paige St., where the march came to a close.

After the parade, a large brigade of emergency vehicles, including fire trucks, manned by some of the world’s best first responders and emergency professionals followed in the rear. Locals and parade-goers grabbed the chance to salute and express their gratitude for the heroic efforts of the contemporary-day heroes. 

Where are the recommended inns to stay for tourists who wish to attend the festival? 

Travelers looking for a place to stay during the three days long celebrations can book from these suggested hotels and inns:  

  •  Owego Treadway Inn

1100 State Rte. 17C, Owego  607-687-4500 or 800-750-0466 

  • Holiday Inn Express

20 Hickories Park Road, Owego  607-687-9000  

  • Hampton Inn

1030 Rte. 17C, Owego 607-687-4600  

  • Sunrise Motel

3778 Waverly Road, Owego  607-687-5666   

  • Hickories Park Campground

Hickories Park Road off Rte. 17C, Owego   607-687-1199   

  • The Pumpelly House B&B

44 Front Street, Owego,  607-687-0510   

  • The Glenmary Inn B&B

537 Glenmary Drive, Owego, 607-687-8819  

  • Quality Inn

7666 Rte. 434, Apalachin    607-625-4441   

  • Aspen Family Campground 

215 Tuttle Hill Road, Candor   607-659-7865   

How to get to Owego? 

Major road construction is underway at the intersection of Interstate 81 and New York State Route 17 in the City of Binghamton, in Broome County, and will affect motorists going on both lanes. Durable lane closures and speed restrictions across the construction zone will be in effect during peak construction hours. Keep an eye out for construction activity around Exit 72 on New York State Route 17 and between Exits 3 and 5 on Interstate 81 in the area. Tourists may wish to think about taking a different route.

The Owego event planners offered a driving tour. Their friendly and accommodating drivers will take care of the driving so you can fully enjoy the festival. Hickories Park and Marvin Park will both have free parking and shuttle bus service all day on Saturday, June 20. (Tioga County Fairgrounds, Rt. 17C West – Exit 64). The shuttle costs $3 per vehicle. Hickories Park (Route 17C) parking begins at 7:30 a.m. and shuttle service begins at 8 a.m. Marvin Park provides access from the west with parking (Route 17C). To use the vendor shuttle or parking, make sure to arrive at Marvin Park earlier than 6 am. To ride the festival shuttle service, come at least 15 minutes early to secure a parking spot. Once the parking lots are cleared, the shuttles will stop running. All traffic in the city’s downtown area is halted from dawn until the end of the festival’s run. A part of Main and Front Streets and lower North Avenue are included in this area. Lake St. is also included in this area. The Court Street Bridge and Park Street will stay open.