91st Annual April 30- May 5, 2024

The Strawberry Capital of the World

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The North Carolina Strawberry Festival Memories

A place to share memories of the NC Strawberry Festival in Chadbourn

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Strawberry culture began in Chadbourn in 1895 when Joseph Addison Brown, merchant farmer, and North Carolina State Senator, bought and/or developed thousands of acres of timber lands of the Chadbourn area for productive farm lands. With the Wilson Publishing Company of Chicago, Illinois, a colony was formed named THE SUNNY SOUTH COLONY. 

Thus the advertisement for this desirable climate and fertile soil brought an estimated 160 families to the Sunny South Colony after 1895. Some of the colonist were successful and many of the local farmers began the cultivation of strawberries.


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The first planting of strawberries failed in 1895, but the next year, six and three-quarter acres of berries were planted and J.A. Brown sold berries for a value of $5,562. The growth of the industry continued and in 1907, 347,000 thirty-two quart crates were shipped and Chadbourn became the Klondyke Strawberry Capitol of the World. In 1907, the largest one-day shipment of strawberries was made. One hundred eighty railroad box carloads of strawberries, all of which had been harvested between sunrise and sunset, requiring 15,000 workers, were moved by rail from Chadbourn to points all over the country.

The continued success of the industry eventually became a reason for entertainment. In order to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the strawberry industry, the first Strawberry Festival was inaugurated on May 26, 1926

Each year, The NC Strawberry Festival draws about 10,000 participants from all over the country.



The North Carolina Strawberry Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. When you become a Sponsor of the North Carolina Strawberry Festival, you convene the community and are part of the celebration of honoring the oldest continuing agricultural festival in North Carolina. Choosing to sponsor is a brilliant way to grow your business and give back to keep the tradition alive that many of our community have benefited from for the last 90 years. Local businesses are the most significant sources of North Carolina Strawberry Festivals income. We could not continue our festival without you. Thank You

PNG image Carley NCSF

Carly Sanderson

North Carolina Strawberry Festival Queen

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North Carolina Strawberry Festival Scholarship Pageant

The Chadbourn Merchants Association sponsored the Strawberry Festival for several years. In 1970, the Strawberry Festival Association was formed. It is the oldest continuing agricultural festival in North Carolina. By charter, registered with the North Carolina Secretary of State, the Chadbourn Strawberry Festival officially became the North Carolina Strawberry Festival at Chadbourn, N.C. on January 17, 1985.

Mia Soles NCSF

Mia Soles

North Carolina Strawberry Festival Princess

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    The North Carolina Strawberry Festival Memories

    A place to share memories of the NC Strawberry Festival in Chadbourn