Posted by Steve Lettau on Jun 22, 2017

CEDARBURG - The smell of strawberry bratwurst will fill the air June 24-25 for the 32nd annual Cedarburg Strawberry Festival.

But why strawberries?

“Why not?” asked BJ Homayouni, executive director of Festivals of Cedarburg, Inc. She said the festival “has to do with what was available in the area in June.”

Homayouni said Cedar Creek Winery’s owner’s wife was an artist and they chose to start the wine and harvest festival to pull art and wine together. Down the line, they invited a local farmer who grew strawberries and the strawberry festival was born and has grown into the biggest in Cedarburg with around 100,000 visitors each year.

“Strawberries speak summer,” Homayouni said. “It’s the first big event in the area in summer. We don’t have blueberries around here, just strawberries.”

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., June 24 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 25 on Washington Avenue in historic downtown Cedarburg. Artwork ranging from paintings to jewelry, ceramics and woodwork will be available for purchase from hundreds of artists.

“It’s family-friendly, it’s free, and the vendors like that we’re really organized,” Homayouni said. “We do have a lot of local artists to support the artist community.”

Those that want a strawberry brat, which Homayouni described as having "just a little bit of spice to it," should get there fast as they sell out quick. There are a number of other themed offerings such as strawberry wine, strawberry lemonade, strawberry shortcake, “all kinds of different strawberry things.”

Proceeds from the lemonade stands, which are run by non-profit organizations, will stay in the community, Homayouni said.

An all-you-can-eat strawberry pancake breakfast will be held at the north end of the festival grounds from 8 to 11 a.m. served by the Cedar Creek Settlement merchants.

If visitors want flavors other than strawberry, the food court also offers hamburgers, chicken, and roasted corn, among other offerings.

In between brat bites, attendees can check out a few new features this year, including an area to learn how to climb trees by Treetop Explorers as well as a portable bar built out of a shipping container.

The main stage will feature local musicians such as Life in a Tree, Our House, Boomer Nation, The Rhythm Kings, Kevin Kennedy and Bobby Way and The Fabulous Wayouts.

Pony rides, a petting zoo, bounce houses, and other activities will be offered for kids in attendance. The CedarQuacker 500, a popular event, will feature hundreds of rubber ducks getting launched into the creek from 1 to 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

Kemps is bringing their "Mooseum" inside of a semi-trailer, which features interactive exhibits.

For desert, a few ice cream contests will be held.