Troy businesses react to cancelation of Strawberry Festival

Local News

TROY, Ohio (WDTN) – For the second year in a row Troy’s Strawberry Festival has been canceled because of COVID-19. Some Troy business owners said that means they’re missing out again on the busiest weekend of the year.

Strawberry Festival Manager Kathi Roetter said the festival, which was planned for June 5 and 6, was approved by Miami County Public Health.

However, COVID-19 guidelines meant they had to cut their number of vendors in half and social distancing would be a challenge to enforce.

“We started weighing the cost for those safety regulations and the costs to the nonprofits, it just did not look like it was feasible this year,” Roetter said.

Roetter said the event usually brings in hundreds of thoudands of dollars for local nonprofits and generates millions of dollars for the city’s economy.

Agave and Rye General Manager Jeffrey Zornes said the restaurant was looking forward to its first Strawberry Festival.

“It would have been a great opportunity not only for Agave and Rye, but for the whole city to have people come, just another oppotunity to bring more business,” Zornes said.

The restaurant, which opened in November, even created a special strawberry taco for their menu.

“We’re still probably going to have that come out in honor of the Strawberry Festival because it’s always been a part of Troy,” Zornes said.

While many businesses told 2NEWS they were disappointed to miss out on their busiest weekend of the year once again, Basil’s on Market Owner Todd Uhlir said his restaurant usually shuts down for the festival.

“It’s so crowded down here, everyone’s coming to enjoy the festival, we were going to use it as a positive thing to do some remodeling inside,” Uhlir said.

The festival board is asking the community to be patient because the decision wasn’t easy to make.

“I think when you saw an event like the Dayton Air Show this week announce that they’re going to a drive-in event instead of a walkaround event, I think that indicates where we’re at currently,” Roetter said.

This isn’t the end of the Strawberry Festival. The board plans on bringing it back next year and making it better than before.

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