Arboretum celebrates its history with Strawberry and Cream Festival

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 1, 2017

To celebrate Picayune’s history in the strawberry industry, the Crosby Arboretum is hosting its annual Strawberries and Cream festival on Sunday, April 2.
During the depression era in Picayune, sawmills stopped running, leaving hundreds of people unemployed. Then, L.O. Crosby, Jr., a local prominent forestry figure, got the community back on its feet by starting the area’s first strawberry farm, which is where a portion of the Crosby Arboretum sits today, Crosby Arboretum director Patricia Drackett said.
“This place has an amazing story behind it. And because of its rich history, we want to provide a fun day for everyone in the community,” she said.
The festival is free to attend and offers strawberries, ice cream and lemonade, live music by Indian Summer, a book signing of Poplarville native Mary Beth Magee’s newest novel “Ambush at the Arboretum” and the last chance to view a photography exhibit by Robert Smith.
Festival participants will also be the first to be able to visit the Arboretum’s newest attractions, the Swamp Forest deck and Quaking Bog floating bridge.
The bridge rests on the quaking bog’s surface, which is the wettest and one of the most breathtaking parts of the Arboretum, Drackett said.
“This is the perfect time to come down because everything is blooming. It is absolutely beautiful right now,” she said. “Some of the most beautiful plants, like the pitcher plants, are blooming and will be for a very short time. Now is definitely the time to come visit.”
Once participants of the festival finish exploring the Arboretum grounds, they can relax at the Pincote Pavilion and enjoy locally grown strawberries and ice cream while listening to Indian Summer.
“I was so excited when Indian Summer called and agreed to perform at the festival,” Drackett said. “They are just a great group of ladies that really know how to give life to any event.”
Barbara Lane and Laura Ousset make up the local band and entertain with their guitars and keyboard, Drackett said.
Sunday’s Strawberries and Cream Festival is sponsored by the Arboretum foundation board and will begin at 1 p.m. and end around 3 p.m.

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