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Market Blog

May 8, 2017

Strawberry Jubilee Nashville’s Largest Strawberry Festival

Nashville’s Largest Strawberry Festival was a sweet success this past Saturday as more than 10,000 festival-goers attended the Third Annual Strawberry Jubilee and purchased more than 5,000 quarts of berries from 10 local and regional farmers. Kids participated in a frenzied strawberry eating contest, and nine local bakers entered their best strawberry cakes into the strawberry cake contest. Most vendors sold out of goods as the sunny day progressed, and shoppers left the market with flats of strawberries and sweet treats like homemade strawberry ice cream in tow.

This year’s Strawberry Jubilee hosted a total of 10 local and regional strawberry farmers compared to last year’s eight. Crowds poured in after all signs of rain had passed, and many vendors sold out of products before the festival’s end. Many merchants claimed it was the best day at the Nashville Farmers’ Market, and the addition of 150 parking spots around Bicentennial Park gave guests easier access to the market.

Nashville’s Mayor Megan Barry made a special guest appearance, along with Councilmember Freddie O’Connell, to ring the opening bell that officially kicked off peak growing season.  The market enthusiastically welcomed “Chopped” champion and executive chef of The Mockingbird Nashville, chef Brian Riggenbach, to the Edible Kitchen, where he demonstrated a strawberry gazpacho with fresh strawberry pico de gallo that audience members thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you to White’s Family Farm for donating their fresh, Tennessee berries for Chef Riggenbach’s demo!

The vast samples of handmade, artisan foods available at Strawberry Jubilee were a tasty highlight for food-lovers. Shoppers grazed market tables of homemade strawberry skillet cobbler, varieties of cheesecakes, double-chocolate strawberry cookies, strawberries-and-cream brioche rolls, and even barrel-aged balsamic vinegars that paired with fresh strawberries.  

Speaking of samples, Strawberry Jubilee 2017 was lucky to have the participation of the Junior League of Nashville’s Kids in the Kitchen program who expertly managed the annual strawberry tasting table. There, shoppers could sample berries from our 10 different farmers. There were many first-time local strawberry tasters which made for many smiles. Plus, kids loved competing to eat a quart of strawberries in the kids’ strawberry eating contest.

Speaking of contests, there was fierce competition amongst our bakers who entered the strawberry cake contest, making our judges jobs quite difficult. Yet, it was Kirbee Miller’s strawberry cake with vanilla cheesecake filling and candied pretzels that took home the first place prize, with Liza Husin coming in second and heather Mckaskle third. Thank you to everyone who participated and to our judges!

The Nashville Farmers’ Market’s next festival, Community Farm Day, is set for July 1st, and will be a down-home, 4th of July celebration at the peak of growing season. Come prepared to participate in the annual corn shucking contest, bring your dancing shoes for Jeremy Holt and the Tennessee Fieldhands, and sample some of the sweetest homegrown tomatoes grown by our local farmers. See you then!