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Strawberry Festival kicks off summer on June 1


Summer’s official kick-off in Kokomo, the 2018 Strawberry Festival is set for Friday, June 1, in downtown Kokomo. And nothing says summer like Amish-made shortcake, ice cream, strawberries and whipped cream piled high in a bowl.

And enjoying that strawberry shortcake out in the sun while listening to live music is even better. And that’s what you’ll find at the 2018 Strawberry Festival.

Sponsored by First Farmers Bank & Trust, the event will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the Courthouse Square and will again this year partner with First Friday.

Tickets for strawberry shortcakes are just $5 while supplies last. And there will be plenty of supply. This year, organizers have ordered more than 4,000 pounds of strawberries, 390 gallons of ice cream, 575 cans of whipped cream to meet the festival’s growing demand.

Last year’s festival served more than 7,000 strawberry shortcakes.

But don’t fill up on just strawberry dessert! You’ll want to leave some room for the many food trucks, including George’s Kitchen, Hawg Heaven, Karma Kitchen, Baja Salsa and Sweet Shack. Check out The Coterie’s food and adult beverage tent, and also the offerings from Bailey Concessions and D&D Concessions.

The festival’s free activities will encompass the entire Courthouse Square. Back this year will be the Tiny Tots Motorcycle Adventure presented by ABATE of Howard County. Kids can enjoy the adventure of riding a motorcycle around a small course. There will also be a bounce house for kids.

At the corner of Main and Sycamore streets, there will be live music throughout the event on the Rhum Academy Stage.

The line-up includes:

• 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Jessica and Gary Rhum, Sami Soutar, James Lightsey, Page Brothers, Amanda Duncan, Kassey King, AnneMarie, Averie Stone, Trina Gill, Jadn Simpson, Ryln Simpson, Nick Johnson, Tim Edwards and Courtney Pitzer

• 5 to 7:30 p.m.: Jessica and Gary Rhum, GingerBeard and Page Brothers

• 7:30 to 9 p.m.: WLRS

The Health Stage, sponsored by Community Howard Regional Health, will feature healthy lifestyle information and workshops from local health and wellness recourses. There will be CPR training, a Tai Chi demonstration, healthy foods, exercises and more.

Speaking of being healthier, you can ride your bicycle to the festival and volunteers will keep watch over it for the duration of the event at the Pedal & Park.

You’ll also want to check out the many vendors, Kokomo Downtown Farmers’ Market, an activities station from Army Recruiters, get a photo at the strawberry photo booth, take part in the StoryBook Walk hosted by United Way of Howard County’s 75in5 initiative, and visit with Kokomo Jackrabbits’ mascot Jax.

You can get your $5 tickets in advance at any First Farmers Bank & Trust location, any Kokomo-Howard County Public Library Branch or at the Greater Kokomo Downtown Association located inside Inventrek Tech Park at 700 E. Firmin St.

Other event sponsors include Sam’s Club of Kokomo, Moore’s Pie Shop, Kokomo Meijer, Indiana National Guard and JDog Junk Removal & Hauling.

Keep up-to-date on event happenings by following First Friday on social media or visiting

There is still time to volunteer for this year’s festival. All shifts available. Visit to sign up as a volunteer.