“A Past to Remember, a Future to Build” is the theme for this year’s Strawberry Days celebration — and that past is a long one. For 100 years, residents and visitors have been celebrating strawberries, community and summertime at the annual Strawberry Days, a weeklong celebration held in Pleasant Grove.
Last year, Strawberry Days was held, but many traditional events were canceled or altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What was missing last year is back this year, just in time for the centennial celebration. The festivities will be held June 12-19.
According to the city’s website, http://plgrove.org, the community of Pleasant Grove was established in 1850. In those early days, there were abundant strawberry crops every summer. Strawberry Days was created in 1921 as an homage to the strawberry fields.
The week of events kicks off on June 12 with the annual Firemen’s Breakfast, held at the fire station, 200 S. 100 East from 6 to 11 a.m. This event is always a favorite to visitors.
Also on that first day, a car show and cruise, sponsored by the Pleasant Grove Police Department’s Honorary Colonels, will be held at Shannon Ball Park, 240 W. 500 South, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Money is raised at the car show through direct donations, purchasing tickets for drawings and a photo opportunity with a police officer. Participants can donate $1 per mile an hour for a fake speeding ticket. They will receive a copy of the photo and a copy of the “speeding ticket” to brag about, according to Mike Petersen, honorary colonel.
All proceeds from the car show and cruise are used directly for Pleasant Grove Police Department. “Most are spent to fund the K-9 program. We purchase all the food, equipment and vet bills associated with the dog,” Petersen said. Any other funds raised will be used to purchase needed police equipment. In the past, the car show has raised funds for training equipment, cages for vehicles, radios, vehicle security boxes for storage and ammunition for live fire training, he said.
The Main Street Birthday Party, celebrating 100 years of Strawberry Days, will be held that evening at 6 p.m. on Main Street, between Center Street and 100 South. Ryan Shupe will be performing live.
More music will be part of the weeklong celebration as well. Every year, Strawberry Days kicks off the summer of Concerts in the Park. The first one, featuring the PG Players, will be held at 7:30 p.m. June 13 at the Downtown Park, 200 S. Main. Hartley Road will perform at an outdoor concert at 7 p.m. June 15 at Veterans Memorial Park, 547 S. Locust Ave. Strawberry Days will end with another Concert in the Park at 7:30 p.m. June 20 in Downtown Park. This concert will feature local band Funeral Potatoes.
The rodeo, which is always a popular event, was established during that first Strawberry Days year, in 1921, according to http://strawberrydays.org. It is the longest continually running rodeo in Utah and will be held June 16-19. Tickets are available on the website.
The second annual Chalk the Lot event will be held again during Strawberry Days. This event is sponsored by the PG Cares Coalition, which focuses on strengthening relationships in the community and the prevention of addiction, abuse and suicide. This year’s theme for Chalk the Lot is “Connection is the Best Prevention.”
Other activities throughout the week include a children’s parade on June 14, a carnival held June 16-19, Guns and Hoses 5K Walk/Run on June 19 and a Mammoth Parade, held at 10 a.m. June 19. Of course, strawberries and cream will be available at events throughout the week, including the outdoor concert and rodeo.
“I couldn’t be more excited for our 100th year celebration of Strawberry Days,” said Eric Jensen, city councilmember and Strawberry Days committee member. “Such an amazing part of our city, it continues to bring our community together year after year.”
Jensen said that there isn’t a better way to celebrate, build lasting memories and showcase what a wonderful city Pleasant Grove is. “To our family, Strawberry Days has always been a time to enjoy traditions together and to create new ones. Besides, who doesn’t love strawberries and cream, a rodeo and a grand parade?”