84th Annual WTSF, Humboldt, Tennessee, longest running festival, bands, floats, queens

The West Tennessee Strawberry Festival (WTSF) was in full swing as festival-goers celebrated its 84th annual festival tradition last Thursday and Friday.

Thursday’s Jr. Floats Parade is made up of middle school and junior high school participants. Bands, floats and treats made the day enjoyable.

Of the 415 festivals that take place in the state of Tennessee, the WTSF is the longest and largest festival in the state’s history.

After the Jr. Floats Parade, many onlookers continued to sit in their chairs and socialize while others bombarded the concession stands for great food. The Jr. Floats Parade lasted about an hour and a half.

“I enjoyed the bands,” said Virginia Perry. “I like to see the kids having fun.”

Perry has been attending the Strawberry Festival for over 55 years.

Other activities took place that evening, which made the participants even more excited. Golf fans were able to take part in the Strawberry Classic and the queens were preparing for next year in the Junior Miss Territorial and Miss Teen Territorial Revue. For the first time in the festival’s history, the Professional Express Clydesdales allowed spectators to get up close and personal with the beautiful horses. Later that evening there was a special reception for Hall of Fame winners saluting Jessie White Cooper, Curtis King, Mike Barker and John Barker. That night, performances were staged in the streets.

Friday’s parade was known as the Grand Floats Parade. This parade consists of a few high school students but mostly high school and high school students. The Humboldt Police Department and Gibson County Sheriff’s Department kicked off the festival with blaring sirens. Local and state officials graced the parade route greeting everyone in sight.

The parade lasted about two hours and the day was again filled with many other activities. The Queens Luncheon and Governor’s Luncheon were ticketed events. The BBQ was a great event for these grill masters to hone their skills. Visitors who wanted to take souvenirs home were able to shop at the Strawberry Market on Main Street. Later that evening, the Jr. Hostess and Hostess Princess revues were held at the local high school. The Cornhole tournament was in full swing and the horse show closed the evening. With so much to do, Carnival was also in full effect to give everyone more options. Despite the rain, the festival and its events are sure to be talked about until next year.

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