All Aboard the Strawberry Express! The Middle Tennessee Strawberry Festival is under way with fun for all ages.

The activities began last weekend with the Strawberry Quilt Show at Richland Gym on Friday and Saturday. The annual Strawberry Festival Pageant and Strawberry Slam Wresting events were held at Portland High School.

The Strawberry Golf Tournament at Kenny Perry Country Creek Golf Course was scheduled to be held Tuesday, May 10. The carnival begins at 5 p.m. at Richland Park on Tuesday. The carnival runs each evening, and on Saturday it opens at noon and continues after the parade.

Thursday is the grand opening of the Farmers’ Market. Locals look forward to this market each Thursday during the summer months. Strawberries should be available this Thursday at the market.

Friday is a big day for the festival beginning at 5 p.m., there will be live music and food vendors. The Classic Car Cruise will be on Main Street. At 7 p.m. is the long-awaited return of Resurrection — A Journey Tribute followed by the fireworks display. There will be chairs to rent for $5, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs.

Saturday is the big day beginning with the Portland Rotary Club Pancake Breakfast from 7-11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church. The cost is $8 for adults and $5 for children. The Strawberry Stride 5K begins at 8 a.m. at Portland High School. The Kids Fun Run is at 8:45 a.m. Applications are available at www.MiddleTNStrawberryFestival.com.

Two hundred vendors are expected to open all over town at 9 a.m. and will close around 4 p.m., as people prepare to watch the annual parade. The downtown area will be packed with activities all day. This year there will be a Mechanical Bull Ride at $5 per ride, free live music, Robocar demonstrations, strawberry farmers, and a magic show. Main Street will feature KidTown USA from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The parade with the theme “All Aboard the Strawberry Express” will begin at 4 p.m.

Free parking is available at Portland High School with a free shuttle on the 13th, beginning at 4:30-9:30 p.m., and on the 14th from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and immediately after the parade. The last shuttle will run at 6:30 p.m. The shuttle is ADA compliant.

The Middle Tennessee Strawberry Festival is organized by the Portland Chamber of Commerce along with the City of Portland. Many organizations and non-profits are involved in the various activities. It is a community festival with many people involved.

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