By Jon Bisnett They’ll be plenty of strawberry shortcake to go around as Hartford’s Ely Park comes alive this weekend with the sights and sounds of this year’s Strawberry Festival. The Friday – Saturday event coincides with the opening night of the city’s Concerts in the Park summer music series on the preceding Thursday evening which adds a bonus of musical entertainment on what is typically setup day for most. Strawberry events begin on Friday with the Kiddie Parade at 6:00 p.m., followed by the crowning of the 2018 Strawberry Royalty and a magic show will follow performed by local prestidigitator John Dudley. Food vendors will be open with arts and crafts vendors throughout the park.
Friday June 8 12 Noon – 9:00 p.m. Food Vendors 12 Noon – 9:00 p.m. Hartford Elementary Art Club Display – Strawberry Rocks 4:00 – 9:00 p.m. Rides by Vertical Edge Entertainment 5:30 p.m. Kiddie Parade lineup at Red Arrow Elementary 6:00 p.m. Kiddie Parade – Main Street 6:45 p.m. Crowning of Strawberry Royalty 7:30 p.m. John Dudley Magic Show Saturday June 9 7:00 a.m. Pancake Breakfast at Hartford High School Cafeteria Sponsored by Hartford Band Boosters 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Strawberry Run Sponsored by Hartford Lions Club 8:00 a.m. 1-mile Fun Run at Hartford High School 8:30 a.m. 5K walk, 5K & 10K runs at Hartford High School 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Rides by Vertical Edge Entertainment 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Food Vendors 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Craft Vendors 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Hartford Elementary Art Club Display – Strawberry Rocks 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. Alley Kat Dance Studio Performance 12 Noon American Legion Bean Bag Tournament – Downtown 12 Noon Parade Lineup at Hartford High School 1:00 p.m. Strawberry Festival Parade – Main Street 2:00 p.m. Parade Awards 2:30 p.m. Bed Races 3:00 p.m. Pie Eating Contest 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. “Second Chance” Classic Rock, Country and Blues 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. “Harbor Town Band” Classic Rock and R & B