Our theme of the Chilton County Strawberry Festival is Where Traditions Run Deep and Value Grows Strong. The history of strawberries in our county is rich in history. Our hard work ethic of producing the best fruits and vegetables in Alabama is deeply entrenched in our county. Our state has always brought communities together through fairs and festivals, celebrating the best of what our towns had to offer.
In the Spring of 1929, the first train of berries pulled out of the Town of Thorsby’s station with its first shipment of Chilton County strawberries headed to the deliver our goodness throughout the east side of the country. The icehouse still standing today would put the ice in the hollow panels of the railcars and the trains loaded down with our strawberries headed north to Chicago and the rest of the East Coast. As the demand for fruits and vegetables grew so did the “berry train”. Farmers from surrounding counties brought their produce to the train station in Thorsby to ship out throughout the state and southeast. Rumor has it . . . berries were not the only items being shipped during Prohibition. Shipments of berries would sometimes contain a surprise or two for receiver. But the train was just the beginning of the Chilton County’s claim to fame over fruits and vegetables.
Chilton County has always been recognized as the Peach County. The largest producers of peaches in Alabama begs for us to continue to hold the title. However, did you know, the strawberry is our second largest crop. Our county is the second largest producer of strawberries in the state of Alabama and Thorsby is the largest town in the state with a strawberry production.
Agriculture continues to be our largest industry in the state of Alabama and in Chilton County. Chilton County’s agricultural industry generates over $385 million dollars in economic impact, creating over 4000 jobs for citizens. It still remains our largest industry and thanks to the soil and dedication of our local farmers, we still produce the sweetest berries in the state of Alabama.
So please join us on April 29, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Richard Wood Park in Thorsby, Alabama – just a rock throw from where it all began with the “berry train” and our farmers. We will celebrate local producers and enjoy every form of strawberry your heart desires. Where our traditions run deep and values grow strong at the First Chilton County Strawberry Festival.