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Strawberry Festival brings berries and more to Crossroads Park this weekend
Tens of thousands of people will savor strawberries, view a marketplace of crafts and merchandise and enjoy day-long entertainment as Bellevue’s Strawberry Festival returns to Crossroads International Park this weekend.
The two-day event — June 28-29 — pays homage to the area’s long history of strawberries and strawberry growers that last year drew 43,000 people to the park.
The event features non-stop entertainment on the Puget Sound Energy Main Stage, strawberry shortcake, hands-on history activities and exhibits presented by Eastside Heritage Center, and fresh produce from local farmers. There will be food for all tastes and over 90 vendor booths featuring everything from hand crafts to home improvement.
Saturday features the Around the Sound Jeep Club Jeep Show and Sunday celebrates the past with the annual BECU Classic Auto Show. The Republic Services Family Fun Area will be in action all weekend long with pony rides, inflatable bouncers, face painting, balloons, a train, Power Jump, the Mini-Mountain rock-climbing wall, a big purple slide and more.
And, of course, there will be strawberry shortcake eating contests.
Free parking and a shuttle will get people to and from the fun. The shuttle bus runs every 15 minutes from Highland Middle School (Bel-Red Road and 148th Avenue Northeast) and Interlake High School (164th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 21st Place).
The festival celebrates the region’s agricultural heritage, as well as its culturally diverse past, present and future. The 2010 census data shows that 41 percent of Bellevue residents are minorities (61 percent in the Crossroads area specifically), and 31 percent of Bellevue’s population is foreign born (46 percent in Crossroads).
The event is a revival of the original Lake Washington Strawberry Festival begun in 1925 to attract business and residents to Bellevue. A celebration of the region’s bountiful strawberry crops, the festival was cancelled in 1942. Revived on a small scale in 1987, Eastside Heritage Center expanded the festival to a communitywide celebration reminiscent of its roots in 2003.
The festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Crossroads International Park is located at Northeast Eight Street and 164th Avenue Northeast.