72nd annual Poteet Strawberry Festival kicks off April 5th

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — It is festival time again for the Atascosa County town of Poteet.

The 72nd Annual Poteet Strawberry Festival is set to be held April 5th through April 7th this year.

“We have the largest agriculturally-based festival in the state,” festival chairman Robert Martinez told KTSA News.  “We have lots of entertainment.  We have 12 stages.  We have a rodeo, bull riding, ranch rodeo on Friday.  We have a big carnival with 60 or more rides.”

The event primarily geared toward promoting the strawberry crop that comes from Poteet, but organizers say it is also a great opportunity to support other local nonprofit organizations.

“We have 34-plus nonprofits that use this as their one and only fundraiser.  All concessions on the grounds are for non-profits for scholarships or for community projects,” Martinez stated.

The festival dates back to 1948 when local farmers returned from World War II to start growing and selling their strawberries again.

Martinez explained that Poteet strawberries aren’t like any other strawberries grown elsewhere in the country.

“Our winery owner — we have a Poteet country winery, he makes strawberry wine out of our berries — he said, ‘I know they are sweeter, but I’m going to really find out scientifically how sweeter they are compared to Florida and California,'” the festival chairman explained.

“He noticed we actually have 12 to 15 percent sugar and those other berries were closer to five.  So that’s what makes them sweeter.”

Gates open at 6 p.m. Friday with admission that day being $10 with children 12 and under free.  Admission Saturday and Sunday is $20 with children 12 and under also being free.  Active, reserve, and retired military are also admitted to the festival for free when they have proper military identification.

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