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story.lead_photo.caption Nile Kimble/FULTON SUNThis year’s third Annual Strawberry Festival will be 4-9:30 p.m. Saturday at Serenity Valley Winery, 1888 County Road 342 in Fulton.

This year's third Strawberry Festival will be Saturday at Serenity Valley Winery, 1888 County Road 342 in Fulton.

Festivities will begin at 4 p.m. and end with a fireworks display overlooking the lake starting at 9 p.m. There is a $5 entry fee, and children younger than 3 get in free with all proceeds benefiting Central Missouri Honor Flight.

Epsilon Sigma Alpha took over the festival three years ago. The event was canceled last year due to COVID-19, but the year before, it made more than $10,000. That money paid for 35 veterans to go to Washington, D.C.

"We pay for the Honor Flight," event marketing chairperson Ann Heidy said. "We put the money toward veterans being able to go on the flight with other veterans and be able to visit their memorials. It seems to really impact them."

When it comes to the Honor Flight, the whole thing is a surprise to the veterans attending. But the love and support they receive from their local community, St. Louis and Washington, D.C., is powerful. People stand ready to congratulate and honor those who have served by cheering, waiving flags, playing music or revving their engines.

The trip is one-day charter flight; veterans leave early in the morning from St. Louis and come back that evening from D.C. It's a long, hard trip for many, but it always seems to be worth it.

And to make that all happen, this family-friendly event encourages all to come out and enjoy an evening outdoors.

The festival will have more than 30 vendors and four food trucks as well as a big tent with tables and chairs. There will be live music from 4-8 p.m. and bagpipes at 8:15 p.m. with Honor Guard at 5 p.m. There will be a blacksmith demonstration, a children's area with a petting zoo and a hay maze. And for those who may need some assistance, there will be shuttles to and from the winery and parking lot.

For more information, visit Facebook at MidMo Strawberry Festival or email [email protected]

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