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Strawberry Festival sweet fun in Fort Mill

At 11 months old, Braelyn can’t even walk and she’s already got a tattoo. Well, not a real one. Her mom insisted she get a temporary strawberry tattoo on her cheek at the Family Trust table at Fort Mill’s Strawberry Festival last weekend.

Thousands from around the state attended the 2013 festival, held at Walter Y. Elisha Park in Fort Mill. It featured everything from strawberry short cakes and strawberry drinks to strawberries au naturel.

Family Trust joined the strawberry fun and applied strawberry tattoos on whoever wanted one. People of all ages dropped by the table to show their love for strawberries by getting a tattoo on their hands, face and even a few ankles.

Rain threatened although the sun managed to peak through the clouds for most of the weekend. Crowds roared for The Marshall Tucker Band, which was the headliner Friday night. Saturday continued with crazy events such as strawberry shortcake-eating contest and a strawberry ice-cream-eating contest. Concerts on two stages showcased a variety of music throughout the day, while a community stage highlighted local performers.

Artist Noah Guthrie, a rising YouTube artist who has played on “The Today Show” and “The Tonight Show” was pleased to perform. “This is such a huge and well organized festival,” said Guthrie, a high-school student from Greer. “The crowd was great and everybody is so friendly.”

Guthrie plays from bluegrass to funk, and really enjoys playing romantic type music. He got 2.5 million hits on YouTube when he posted “I’m Sexy and I know It” in 2012, and now he’s busy on the concert circuit, mostly at colleges. A newcomer to Strawberry Festival, Noah said he was honored to perform and hopes to play again next year.

Named SC Event of the Year for two consecutive years by SC Festival and Events Association, the Strawberry Festival includes a golf tournament, car show, kid zone and pageant. Wink Rea was the 2013 festival chair.

Brown Simpson, chairman of Family Trust’s board of director, is festival director as well as director of Fort Mill’s Parks and Recreation department.

Family Trust was one of many sponsors who contributed more than $150,000 for the festival.