New to Strawberry Fest: a fishing pond in downtown Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 May 2015 at 12:00 am

ALBION – The classic cars, giant parade, food vendors, live bands and other favorites from the Strawberry Festival will be back. But this year’s 29th annual festival will have some new additions with a fishing pond in downtown Albion among the highlights.

With a fishing theme – “Hook, Line, and Strawberry!” – for this year’s festival on June 12-13, the planning committee decided to give people a chance to fish. A 14-by-22-foot tank will be set up on West Bank Street and will be stocked with about 250 rainbow and brook trout.

“It’s a fun thing for the kids,” said Ron LaGamba, a member of the Albion Rotary Club and chairman of the fishing pond event.

He is working with Western North Carolina Mountain Trout Fishing on the project. Participants will have to pay for a chance to catch the fish. The rod, reel and bait will all be provided. Any caught fish will be returned to the tank in a catch and release program.

“It’s for the thrill of fishing and for learning to fish,” said Michael Bonafede, chairman of the festival planning committee.

The tank has 14 spots for sponsors. Bonafede and LaGamba hope to make the fishing pond a staple of the festival for years to come.

Bonafede said the two-day festival, now in its 29th year, includes new vendors, an enlarged farmers’ market, new games and a demonstration tent sponsored by Ace Hardware. That spot could feature artisans and other exhibitors.

The parade will also include an extended route to the Erie Canal and prizes will be awarded in several categories.

For more information on the festival, click here.