Peach time here again in Stratford

Peaches will naturally be the big thing with this weekend's Stratford Peach Festival. (PV Democrat photo)

It’s that time of year to get a little peachy in Stratford as local folks are busy preparing to host one big festival.

Visitors are again expected flock in by the bushels as it’s the Stratford Peach Festival coming throughout much of Saturday, July 17 in the local city park.

Again right in the middle of planning is Michelle Schwagel, who says a lot of people are reaching out showing some interest in the community gathering held each third Saturday in July.

“We’re getting a lot of the same questions, like are peaches ready, can they buy peaches,” Schwagel said.

“Vendors try to get in at the last minute. We’re really right on track for this year’s festival.”

Just as important is what the peach festival represents for the town of Stratford in eastern Garvin County.

“This festival is the biggest and best thing that happens in our town,” she said.

“It puts us on the map. It brings in people from all over, including from out-of-state.

“It’s huge for our town, and our local businesses love it. It means a lot for the community.”

With volunteers from the Stratford Little League Foundation and a festival board putting in a lot of time planning for the event, it again features a pancake breakfast, a car show, a 5K run and then there’s the peaches all over the place at Stratford City Park.

Schwagel expects the “famous” peach royalty portion of the festival to again bring in the crowds to watch.

“They’ll come on stage and be asked a few questions, more about the town and their involvement in the community,” she said about contestants.

“The judges will put their heads together and announce who the winner is.”

Typically offered up through the mid-afternoon hours, the festival did take a little bit of a hit last year with the COVID pandemic.

“We had a decent turnout, but it was not as big as the year before.”

Still, Schwagel hopes that will turn back around with pandemic related safety measures being lifted.

•••

Vendors are invited to be a part of an upcoming community festival in Pauls Valley that brings together people with dogs and even cats.

Set for late next month is the Bark in the Park and Feline Friends Festival in Wacker Park.

A Dock Dog aquatic competition is expected to get things jumping on Friday night, Aug. 27.

Food and merchandise vendors will be a part of activities on Saturday, Aug. 28.

Described as “reasonable” fees, vendors can find out more by calling 405-238-1303 or email paulsvalleypaws@gmail.com for more information.

Proceeds for the two-day event go to Pauls Valley Animal Welfare Society (P.A.W.S.).

Coming that same week is the Garvin County Free Fair.

This year's fair is scheduled Aug. 24-28 at the county fairgrounds in Pauls Valley.

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