The Baldwin County Strawberry Festival Loxley, AL began in 1987 as a small festival with a few crafters and food vendors. Since that time, it has grown into the popular Alabama festival that it is, with over 175 exhibitors, carnival rides, live music, pageants and a wide variety of food vendors. Strawberries are found in abundance and many local farms set up shop to sell a wide variety of their freshly-picked, organic crops. The festival takes place every year during the second weekend in April. Admission is free.
In 2010, more than 80,000 people attended the two-day festival and purchased over 400,000 strawberry flats and 10,000+ strawberry shortcakes. This is significant growth from the small beginnings over two decades ago. It began as an effort by the joint forces of the Association of Retarded Citizens of Baldwin County (ARCBC) and Loxley Elementary School. Previous to 1999, the Baldwin County Strawberry Festival Loxley, AL was held in downtown Loxley. In 1999 it was moved to its current location at Loxley Municipal Park. The move allowed the festival to become a two-day event and include activities such as the carnival rides and the car show.
The Little Miss Strawberry Pageant
The Little Miss Strawberry Pageant is a popular Loxley event held in anticipation of the annual Baldwin County Strawberry Festival Loxley, AL. Second grade girls attending any Baldwin County school or local private school may enter. Each contestant is judged on poise, personality and appearance by a panel of three approved judges who choose a queen, a first runner up and five members of the court. The winners officially open the festival the following month and reign over the two-day event.
Giving Back to the Community
Over 200 volunteers work with the festival, supporters of both Loxley Elementary School and the Association of Retarded Citizens of Baldwin County. Many teachers have also gotten involved. In return, proceeds from the festival have been awarded to these two organizations. In 2008, over $48,000 was raised by the festival. This has gone towards new computers for classrooms and the library, new playground equipment and new residential homes for the ARCBC.