A History of Strawberries in Chadbourn
In the early 1900’s, Chadbourn was nicknamed “The Sunny South Colony”. The main crop in Chadbourn was strawberries. Although there are plenty of strawberries around during the annual festival, there are not nearly as many (hundreds of train loads) as there were back in the early 1900’s when Chadbourn was dubbed “The Strawberry Capitol of the World.” The Strawberry Festival has been the largest local agricultural festival in the state for many years now.
The Strawberry industry in the area was begun by Joseph A. Brown, who started with only 6 acres. He got the idea on a trip to Louisiana. He discovered that there was a six-week lag in the strawberry market without any competition. He made a deal with the Wilson family of Chicago, who published a very popular magazine called “Farm Field and Fireside” and who had a history of helping to opening settlements through advertising in their magazine. They agreed with the railroad to offer excursions to the “Sunny South Colony” and, in turn, any profits from land sold to colonists would be split. The excursions brought many new people and business to Chadbourn.
The Strawberry Festival
The Strawberry Festival is held the first weekend in May each year. It is the highlight of the year for Chadbourn. Some of the festival activities include the Strawberry Festival Parade, pageants, arts contests, food contests, vendors, a car show, the “Encounters” dinner event, and a Strawberry Auction, just to name a few.
The Chadbourn Christmas Parade is held the 1st Saturday in December.
The Chadbourn Lions Club was chartered March 10, 1969.