The Spudbarrow Strawberry Festival

Wi' a name like 'Spudbarrow', ye'd be thinkin' ye knew what th' village'd be famous fer... but ye'd be wrong! Sure, they grow 'taters by the bushel, but the real treat t'come outter that burg is Strawberries! Th biggest ye'd ever seen an' the sweetest ye'd ever taste, I'll tell ye. An' th' pies... oh, the pies...
— Agilbert Oakbottom describing Spudbarrow produce to a new traveler to the region
The Village of Spudbarrow, a predominantly Halfling settlement on the Feywood Forest road that links Feybridge Crossing with Karnstown, was named for the tubers grown there not only for local use, but to supply the shops of Karnstown. But potatoes are not the only crop grown there, and in fact are not even the most famous among the regional Folk.

That honor belongs to the Strawberry. Spudbarrow Strawberries are much sought after - fresh during their season, and in numerous varieties of preserves the rest of the year. The residents of Spudbarrow, being mostly Halflings, are always on the lookout for an opportunity to throw a party, so in mid-Spring, the entire village takes part in a weeklong celebration as the first strawberry crop ripens. Folk from up and down the road - farmers and townsfolk, and even the Elves and occasional Fey - come to the village to take part in the celebration of one of the first fresh products of the new growing season.


The Festival Day

The Strawberry Festival is, first and foremost, an excuse for a weeklong party. Communal dining tables are set up in the village center. All of the villagers bring prepared foods for the feasts, and ale flows freely - generously provided by the Gnomish miller/brewer a week's journey up the road.

Each festival day begins in the late morning, with spreads of strawberry pastries and flatcakes piled high for Brunch, the second Halfling meal of the day. They will, of course, have fortified themselves with Breakfast before preparing for the day's efforts. The tables are then cleared for Lunch, then for Tea, and then for Supper before the sun sets. With the festivities still going strong into the night, Dinner is spread under torch and lantern light. The communal party breaks up in time for the Halflings to grab their Nightcap at home before retiring to prepare for another day of frivolity.

Special Events

Strawberry Pie.png
Each day of the festival, awards are given for the best strawberry products made by villagers or others who wish to enter their best recipes. On the first day of the festival, strawberry pies are the highlight. The best pies are judged, and there is a pie-eating contest in the early afternoon, between Tea and Supper. The second day is for judging of strawberry jams, jellies, pickles, and other preserves. The third day celebrates strawberry sweets, with plentiful samples of candies for the children of the village. The fourth day is for beverages and desserts based on strawberry juice, and the fifth is for strawberry wines and ales. The sixth day - the last day of the festival - is for strawberry cakes.

There are various other games and activities for the children, including hoop rolling, wheelbarrow races, and egg tosses. The adult folk are generally content with enjoying the food and drink - and each other's company. There are some games of skill and of chance: small tables pop up as needed for games of cards or tiles. But when all is said and done, it is the food - particularly the Strawberries - that everyone is there to enjoy.

Another highlight of each evening of the festival is the performance provided by the Traveling Troupe. The troupe makes sure their Carriage of Marvelous Wonders arrives in Spudbarrow in time for the festival each year. They stay and perform for the six days of the celebration.

Observance

The Strawberry Festival takes place during the week mIdway between New Year's Day (the spring equinox) and the First Turning Holiday, or Summer's Day (the summer solstice) - the third week of the Time of Amalthea's Oak. It is held rain or shine; if the weather is inclement, pavilion tents are erected to protect the spreads of food.
Strawberries.png
Strawberry cake.png
Visitors from Outside the Town
The Festival draws attendees from up and down the Karnstown Road, and from the deeper Feywood itself. The Elves - and the occasional Fey - appear out of the Wood during the day, and disappear back into the forest by night.

As for the other folk - mostly Human, but with a smattering of Gnome, Dwarf, and other Folk - accomodation space is provided so the festival goers have a place to sleep off each day's indulgences. Many set up tents; some make use of covered wagons. Special areas are marked off by the townsfolk of Spudbarrow to accomodate tents, wagons, and draft animals. All are welcome as long as they behave themselves.
Strawberry shortcake.png
Did ye see th' cake that old Clotilde put out fer judgin' this year? 'er finest work, that was. Berries in the batter... berries in the frostin' ... berries decoratin' all around? An' the taste? Mmmm. Too bad we'll 'ave ter wait another year fer more!
— Unknown festival goer chatting with an acquaintance

Credits

Bucket of Strawberries Image by Jesus Leal from Pixabay
Strawberry Roll Image by Sharon Ang from Pixabay
Strawberry Shortcake Image by RitaE from Pixabay
Strawberry Pie Image by Frauke Riether from Pixabay


Cover image: The Inn from the Bridge over Daphinia's Stream by RPGDinosaurBob (with Flowscape)

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
28 Jul, 2020 20:31

Made me HUNGRY!

30 Jul, 2020 09:20

I soooo want strawberries now. I love the quotes - they really add to the atmosphere.

Powered by World Anvil