Chassell getting ready for Strawberry Festival

This weekend marks the beginning of the one of the biggest summer festivals in the Copper Country.

Tomorrow, the Strawberry Festival will feature several tasty treats, including the signature strawberry shortcake. Later in the day, the Strawberry Queen will be crowned. Saturday morning at 8:00 will be the new Lions Fun Run event, with registration beginning at 7:00, and then the parade starts at 11 o’clock.

Incoming Chassell Lions president John Mackrain says the event has a long history behind it.

“This will be our 66th festival, so it’s one of the longest running festivals in the state of Michigan, if not the longest,” Mackrain said.

This area is known for its great strawberry farms, including Forsman’s Farm in Hancock. Robert Forsman, whose family has owned the farm for over 50 years, says many people who go to the festival come here to pick from some of the best strawberries in the Copper Country. Forsman says the people who come to pick are from all ages.

“Well, the age group varies. We have younger children, like my grandson. Sometimes they’ll pick and then sell them on the roadside, and they make a little money for summer and school or whatever they need it for,” Forsman said.

He adds that the late winter didn’t really have a negative effect on his crops, which is good news for anyone who loves strawberries.