Reflections on a Sweet Strawberry Festival

The Festival was filled with our traditional events and activities, but all with a focus on Vashon.

  • Wednesday, July 28, 2021 10:17am
  • Opinion
Cheryl Lubbert

Cheryl Lubbert

Strawberry Festival is in our rearview mirrors now, but the memory and more importantly, the feeling of Festival 2021 is still on people’s minds.

Low-key, full of great performances, strawberry shortcake, the Thriftway Shopping Cart drill team, a parade of 40+ cars showcasing our Grand Marshals, a blue-eyed goat as our Unofficial Mayor, an antique car show, dancing and general merriment. People smiling, hugging and happy.

“It is what Festival is supposed to be.”

“Nice job on Festival, it felt like a success!”

“You must be happy with how Festival went.”

“It was nice to walk the streets and I don’t miss the vendors.”

“The merchandise is so cute.”

“The all-ages dance floor was a great idea.”

“We usually close for Festival, but this year we were so busy, every bike was rented!”

“There was a line down the block.”

“Our business was busier than a long holiday weekend.”

“2021 all-time fave festival. Hope we keep it local.”

“Great festival this year. Can we learn for next year? Keep it local. Add the parade and more local artists and food carts. Thank you.”

These quotations from members of our community as well as business owners suggest that we hit a balance between a community celebration and supporting our local businesses.

The Vashon Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to cultivate a vital environment for commerce and create opportunities for Island businesses and organizations to prosper — while enriching the unique quality of life for every Islander. This year’s Festival did just that! The Festival was filled with our traditional events and activities, but all with a focus on Vashon, the way it should be.

The Chamber worked for months to pull all the elements of this year’s festival together, but special thanks go to members of the Event Committee, who did the heavy lifting. I would like to thank Lynann Pollite, VCA Gallery Director, for her outstanding leadership of the committee. She kept us on track and focused.

Connie Sorensen, of Compass Realty, had memories of past Festivals that helped bring back some of the old traditions and start new ones. Sam Wiegand, the owner of Vashon Baking Co., was the driving force behind so many important components, most notably the parade. Jake Heil, co-owner of Ruby Brink, worked tirelessly to organize the volunteers and serve as the liaison with Zero Waste Vashon. BJ Duft, the owner of Herban Feast and Herban Bloom, did set-up, breakdown, and everything in between — he’s truly a master of event management. And, Steven Brewer, the Marketing and Communications Director for the Vashon Chamber, created cohesive overarching branding, merchandise and brought back real strawberries! It is this group’s love of, passion for and commitment to our island community that made Festival 2021 a reality.

It is never too early to think about Festival 2022! If you have ideas and want to volunteer to participate in the planning for next year’s festival, please contact me at

— Cheryl Lubbert is the president of the board of Vashon Chamber of Commerce and the co-owner of Nashi Orchards.

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