BEAVER DAM, Ky. — It’s that time of year again…time to bring the family to downtown Beaver Dam for the annual Beaver Dam Strawberry Festival.
And this year’s Strawberry Festival is even bigger than past festivals as Beaver Dam is celebrating its sesquicentennial anniversary, 150 years of being an incorporated city of Kentucky. To celebrate its anniversary, the city has loaded up this year’s Strawberry Festival with even more food, fun and special events.
The festival begins this evening at 5 p.m. with your chance to take a helicopter ride over the city. You can choose a two-mile ride for $25 or a five-mile ride for $40. The helicopter rides will be available from 5-10 p.m. Thursday, from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday.
While you can take a flight over the city beginning this evening, most of the Strawberry Festival will take place over the weekend downtown on Second St.
There will be over 50 vendors and food booths open for business beginning at 10 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday. Rides will be up and running Friday and Saturday as well.
Friday, you can take part in one of the best events offered by the Strawberry Festival, the cowboy fast draw. The Bluegrass Fast Draw Club will be holding on demonstrations of cowboy fast draw and you can get your chance to try it yourself. The event is free and family-friendly and will take place from 6-8 p.m. Friday night.
If you love live music, then you’re going to get your fill three nights during the Strawberry Festival. Loose Wheel kicks off the live music events with a free show at 7 p.m. Thursday night on the Second St. Stage. Friday, Tailgate will perform on the Second St. Stage at 7 p.m. and Saturday night, JEwel Mercer’s Country Beavers Band will play the Second St. Stage at 7:15 p.m.
If you’re looking to rock out Saturday, you can see Blackberry Smoke with Band of Heathens at the Beaver Dam Amphitheater as part of the 2023 First United Bank & Trust Summer Concert Series. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online at beaverdamamp.com or at the door the night of the concert.
The Strawberry Festival pageants will begin at 10 a.m. with the newborn to 11 months pageant followed by six other pageants and wrapping up with the main event at 5 p.m., the Miss Strawberry Queen pageant.
If you don’t have a beautiful child for the pageants, maybe you have a pretty amazing pet. If so, you can enter the Strawberry Festival Pet Show taking place at 10 a.m. Saturday at Beaver Dam City Hall. There is a $10 entry fee which will be donated to the Ohio County Animal Shelter. Trophies will be available for many different categories including best dressed, most talented, most unusual, and more. No pet, no problem, come on by and watch the show.
For the amateur chefs out there, you can take part in Saturday’s Strawberry Cook-Off. All dishes must include strawberries and be submitted by 11 a.m. at the Beaver Dam City Hall Commission Room on Broad St.
For those who aren’t amateur chefs, but are professional eaters, you can join the low-key best part of the Strawberry Festival, the annual cake walk. This year, the cake walk will be held at 6 p.m. on the Second St. Stage.
Calling all gearheads! One of the biggest drawing events at the Strawberry Festival each year is the fantastic Beaver Dam Crusie-In and car show. This year is now different as you can visit the Beaver Dam Park Saturday to see the incredible rides.
If you’re interested in a chance at winning $20,000, and who isn’t, plus you have some basketball skill, you need to check out Hot Shots at 7 p.m. Saturday on the Second St. Stage. Tickets for the chance to take a shot for $20,000 will be available all weekend and on lucky person will get the chance to shoot a basketball for $20,000.
In addition to all the Strawberry Festival events, the Beaver Dam Farmers Market will open its 2023 season this Saturday at the Beaver Dam Farmers Market Pavilion in the Beaver Dam City Park. The farmers market will be open from 8 a.m.-noon and will have plenty of fresh produce, baked goods, and arts and crafts available. You can visit the farmers market every Saturday throughout the summer.
If that isn’t enough to get you downtown this weekend, then you aren’t living. Come on out, bring the whole family, and enjoy the 2023 Beaver Dam Strawberry Festival. It’s got everything you need.