Messy fun during the strawberry shortcake-eating contest at the Marysville Strawberry Festival in 2015. The festival continues June 14-17. (Herald file)

Messy fun during the strawberry shortcake-eating contest at the Marysville Strawberry Festival in 2015. The festival continues June 14-17. (Herald file)

Jam, eat, play at the 87th Marysville Strawberry Festival

The annual festival has a carnival, talent show, market, parades and a shortcake-eating contest.

Stuff your face with strawberry shortcake and just-picked berries. The Marysville Strawberry Festival is here.

The 87th annual festival, which kicked off June 9 with the annual 5K Berry Run, continues June 14-17 in Marysville. The longtime festival features carnival rides, a talent show, market, a kids art celebration, parades and a shortcake-eating contest.

More than 100,000 people are expected to attend this year’s festival, which will culminate with a grand parade at 7:45 p.m. June 16. The parade route starts on 76th Street NE., travels down State Avenue, turns east onto Third Street and finishes on Alder Avenue. A kiddie parade, which kicks off before the grand parade at 6 p.m., starts at Totem Middle School on Seventh Street and State Avenue.

“The streets are just packed for the parade,” said Carol Kapua, one of the festival’s organizers.

The Strawberry Festival was founded in 1932 as a one-day parade. The festival has been extended and expanded over the years, and today it is a weeklong celebration with entertainment and activities.

“They started it because they were celebrating the harvesting of the strawberries,” Kapua said. “Marysville was known for all the strawberry fields here.”

The city doesn’t have any strawberry fields today. The nearby Biringer Farm in Arlington supplies the festival’s berries, Kapua said, which will be sold at the market and made into shortcake for the strawberry shortcake-eating contest June 16. The contest is open to anyone 5 and older.

Each year, the festival foundation raises money for six scholarships given to members of the Strawberry Festival royal court, made up of three juniors and seniors in high school and three seventh and eighth graders in middle school. This year’s royalty are Nathan Weller, Katelynn Melohusky, Kaitlyn Norris, Emmah Butler, Ziri Morales and Abigail Lewis.

The royal court, along with other acts, will compete in a talent show June 14 in the main auditorium at Marysville Pilchuck High School. Auditions for the show were held in May.

Carnival rides can be found on the Marysville Middle School grounds. Rides include a Ferris wheel and several children’s rides and games. All rides and games require tickets.

The Market in the Park at Asbery Fields will feature shopping, dining and live music from June 15-17. Headliners include Jenny & the Blue Moon Boys, Aardvarks Utd. and No Rules. A beer garden nearby will be open from noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

A first-ever kids art celebration is scheduled for June 16 at Totem Middle School. It will feature visual and performing arts by students in first through 12th grades, such as paintings, photography and live music.

If you go

The 87th annual Marysville Strawberry Festival continues June 14-17 at various locations in Marysville. See the full schedule at

A carnival is from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. June 14, 4 to 11 p.m. June 15, 12 to 11 p.m. June 16 and 1 to 5 p.m. June 17 at Marysville Middle School, 4923 67th Ave. NE. Purchase six rides or games for $16 on Thursday; an unlimited pass is $35 and available Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The talent show is 6:30 p.m. June 14 at Marysville Pilchuck High School, 5611 108th St. NE. Tickets are $7.

A market is from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. June 15, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. June 16 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 17 at Asbery Field, on Fourth Street and Alder Avenue.

A new children’s art and music celebration is noon to 5 p.m. June 16 at Totem Middle School, 1605 Seventh St.

The rose-planting ceremony, a years-long festival tradition, is set for 1 p.m. June 16, also at the middle school.

The strawberry shortcake-eating contest will be held at 1 p.m. at the market. Admission is $3 for children, $5 for adults. Registration is required.

Evan Thompson;

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