The first bite into a plump, sweet, strawberry. A bite so good, you are left licking your fingers afterwards from the red juice dripping down your hand. North Carolina has long been an agricultural hotspot for these sweet treats, and Chadbourn, host’s the state’s oldest agricultural festival to celebrate just that. The Columbus County festival hosts live entertainment, contests, auctions, a parade, and of course, plenty of strawberries.
Densil Worthington, a Chadbourn native, has been involved with the Strawberry Festival for close to 50 years. Beginning in his early twenties, Worthington has long had a passion for North Carolina agriculture and the history behind the festival itself. Worthington was president of the Strawberry Festival for four years, and was a member on the board of directors for the following years, this year the presidential role was passed onto Jennifer Caines.
“It [North Carolina Strawberry Festival] promotes farming, it makes people aware of how important agriculture is to all of us, and the strawberry plays its part in that agricultural vision,” Worthington said.
This year’s Strawberry Festival held a record number of attendees while celebrating its 90th annual festival. The kickoff for the festival, titled “Strawberry Jams,” took place April 29th. This event is family-focused, providing fun for the youth of the Chadbourn community.
An annual pageant is also a large portion of the Strawberry Festival. The committee chooses at least four queens each year in a variety of age groups.
“It’s just a good outing, a time for fellowship,” Worthington said. “It’s a time for people to get out and have a good time outside.”