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The Ponchatoula Times
Ponchatoula , Louisiana
April 18, 2019     The Ponchatoula Times
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April 18, 2019

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l0 MIXED ADC 1667 00-00-00 107P 32T SMALL TOWN PAPERS 217 W COTA ST ## SHELTON WA 98584-2263 ll,q,lld,v,ll,l,ll,ll,I,iqi,q,qNiHqll,ll,I An wonderful festival was had by all, more photos inside ! . Times Photo by Amy Brennan Strawberry Festival rocks the streets of Ponchatoula By BRIANNA ELLIOTT Special to The Times The traditionally quiet streets of Ponchatoula were filled with thousands 0f people, vendors, and music. Ponchatoula no longer had the feel of a quaint little city, but of a New Orleans-style party. People were dancing and singing in the streets as they milled about. It was Strawberry Fes- tival 2019. The event took over Me- morial Park and much of North Sixth Street, with booths and food vendors lining the streets all the way up to Highway 22. Peo- le ,p deoi ately searched for parl in : as the streets surrounding the lest were full of cars Bands such as Category Six and Mother- ship had the crowds danc- ing and singing along to a wide variety of pop, rock, and country music hits. . Although the weather deteriorated Saturday evening and shut the fes- tival down early, Sunday was a sunny smash hit the 48th Annual Straw- berry fest was a smashing hit: Thousands of people visited the town to enjoy strawberry themed treats/ drinks, games, rides, and wonderful bands. Many citizens of Pon- chatoula decorated their yards and cars in honor of the Strawberry Festival. Several of the rides even (Times Photo took on the strawberry theme. The Ferris Wheel on the fairgrounds even encore sported a large image of a strawberry. Another ride consisted of large spinning strawberries. The Festival was closed out on Sunday by the Hall of Fame band Bag of Do- nuts. 'Wiy favorite thing about Bag of Donuts was seeing Bobby Hoerner's son playing with the band and performing a song on his own," said Amy Heath, row. After their final num- ber, the crowd was not By KATHRYN J. MARTIN Special to The Times Sometimes life just doesn't seem to be fair. by Brianna Elliott ) ready to go home, and the band came back out for an nomln; As little children we use the words "When I get big" to tell how rich we're going to be, all the things we are going to own, all the places we are going to go At the time, a lot of our dreams are unreasonable but we are too young to know it so we just keep on dreaming happily. We grow up and some- . . i ~m where along the line we've realized our limitations, causing our dreams to be- come more realistic. But then, especially if we are aiming to be good people and do good things for others, hindrances and lessons from the school of hard knocks come along. We get the props knocked out from under us Sometimes it comes from circumstancesbeyond our control and sometimes it's we ourselves getting in the way. Maybe bad deci- sions cause us to give up hope, give up trying. Last year I interviewed Ponchatoula's successful businessman Larry Terry and was surprised to hear how young he was when he figured out what it would take to realize his dream. Usually when I ask high school students in sports what their plans are, I get a simple answer: "I'm gonna play for the NFL," PLEASE SEE PAGE 9 Special to The Times Ponchatoula, "America's Antique City," downtown shopping district has been nominated for the 2019 Small Towns USA TODAY 10 Best Readers' Choice contests in the Best Small Town Shopping category. Voting is open now, runs for four weeks only, and ends on Monday, May 6. You can rock the vote at https://www. 10best. com/awards/travel/ and of course we encour- age : ou to shar.e the con- test URL with your social network. Members of the pub- lic can vote once per day, per category. The nominees were an- nounced on April 8 and Louisiana represents five of the finalists competing for a spot on the winners list. Other towns include: Best Historic Small Town , Natchitoches, Best Food Scene - Thibodaux, Best Small Town Cultural Scene Best Small Town Shop- ping l- Breaux Bridge, Best Small Town for Ad- venture - Abita Springs. Voting is open now, runs for four weeks only and ends on Monday, May 6. You can rock the vote at "Everybody needs a friend" - Dylan Hill eight grade Ponchatoula Junior High School Student Ponchatoula Junior High "School's "Best Buddies Club" is a new program, started this year at the school, that pairs up students with disabilities to those without. This "Best Buddies Club" is very meaningful to all of the students involved Pictured are students involved in the 2018 Ponchatoula Junior High School's "Best Buddies Club" (Times Photo by Amy Brennan) By AMY BRENNAN Times Reporter The transition to junior high school can be hard on any student, but it can be especially isolating for a stu. dent with disabilities. To help with the adjust- ment of attending junior high school, Ponchatoula Junior High created The Best Buddies Club. The new Best Buddies Club program began this year when Junior High School Principal Mary Beth Crovetto of Pon- chat0ula was approached by Maggie Merk, a student at the school, about creat- ing a buddy program. Mrs. Crovotto told The Times, "I was thrilled by the idea and so proud of my students for be- ing so thoughtful, so of course, I said yes!" The programpartners students with and without disabilities and the mem- bership requirements in- cludeda willingness of stu. dents to show an unbiased attitude toward a person with disabilities, positive and caring personality. The program is' spon- sored by Ponchatoula Ju- nior High School faculty members, including Me- lissa Smith, Jill Wilson, Quadesha Stewart, and Traci Giannobile. Spew sot and teacher Quadesha Stewart told The Times, "This peer-to-peer mentor. PLEASE SEE PAGE 3 https://www. 10best.com/ awards/travel/ and of most active campaigns for award categories), course we encourage you to share the contest URL find us on Twitter, Fa- with your social network, cebook, Instagram and Pintrest, The public can vote once per day, per category. Please reach out if you To follow live voting have any questions, con- action (and discover the cerns or exciting news! POHCttATOUI By OLE HAI{DmDE The Alligator Mayor Zabbia's Clean Krewe was spot-on again this festival parade, snatching candy wrappers mid- air before they dared become litter on the street. I suspect it was by order of the mayor that Mother Nature waited in the wings until late afternoon Fes- tival Saturday to give what "King PhiUip" Hextall might call a "proper scrubbing" of the streets with fresh rainwater. Then of course Sunday was devoted to dryingout. I do not believe any of this heavenly intervention distracted from the efforts to fight the fiery devasta- tion of Our Lady's own cathedral in Paris; the glow- ing altar cross at Notre Dame seems to assure even- tual restoration there. Back in Ponchatoula, Pratt Fest inched closer to becoming the second largest festival in the state, drawn in large part by Purple Heart honoree combat veteran Jason Pratt. Breaux Bridge look out! Pratt Fest is growing larger in your rearview" mir- ror as cd. Times Travel Editor Le Lowry ducked offt of town for a weekend trip to Edwin Edwards' home- town, Cr0wley, La. Look in an upcoming edition for her most recent on-the-road reports from must-visit destinations within easy driving time (two hours) of Tangipahoa. Mothers of beadtiful young daughters, fair warn- ing; handsome Michael ' Young Elvis" Brennan this past week turned a head-spinning 15. I hope you held out at least $5 from your fairs and festivals money to purchase a chance on Mike Ful- mer's generous donation of a new camper trailer, the winning ticket to be drawn at the annual St. Joseph Spring Fair the first weekend in May. This same super daddy has been hosting in his home a child-friendly Stations of the Cross to mark the Lenten season On the festival grounds poster artist Matthew Moore was signing and personalizing his poster near where Lauren Fannaly a nd Susan Johnson were at- tracting the attention of Oktoberfest recruiters from Munich, Germany's Oktoberfest, they were attract- mg so many crowds to Rotary's beer taps. How better to wash down the PJHS funnel cakes that appeared to be best-sellers, equaled only perhaps by the seafood-stuffed potatoes being sold briskly at the nearby A Touch of Class festival booth: Deep-fried guilty pleasure "were the specially-pre- pared Oreos. Those dashing Knights of Columbus served up an- other festival favorite, their crawfish pasta, worth its weight in gold, given what the crawfish barons are asking for their mudbugs this year. Congratulate the new Grand Champion Straw- be ry Grower Trey Harris. []