Although it started as the “Strawberry Festival”, Berry Dairy Days has been a consistent part of the community for over 85 years! Berry Dairy Days continues to celebrate Burlington’s history, agriculture, farming, traditions and community and features fireworks, entertainment stage, kid zone, grill competition, lawnmower races, and a grand parade.
In 1937, the first annual “Berry Dairy Days” was launched when the Burlington volunteer firefighters organized a fundraiser to purchase new equipment. The community event served as a fundraiser and a way to celebrate strawberry farming in Burlington. To add excitement and draw a crowd, they made a giant strawberry shortcake that was pulled down Fairhaven Avenue in red wagons. Pieces of the cake were handed to the crowd that had gathered to catch a glimpse of the shortcake.
As the festival grew not only in size but in scope, in 1965 the event was handed over to the Burlington Chamber of Commerce to continue the tradition. Then-President Roger Hulbush, along with other community members, decided to re-name the festival “Berry Dairy Days” to reflect the growing influence of the dairy business and ongoing strawberry farming in Burlington. Now, the festival is co-hosted by the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and the City of Burlington.
Many community members have fond memories of Burlington Berry Dairy Day throughout the years. Duane Stowe is the owner of the second oldest business in Burlington, Stowe’s Shoes & Clothing. He remembers the local strawberry processing plant and the effect it had on the community. Roger Hulbush is the owner of the oldest business in Burlington, Hulbush Funeral Home. He recalls one of his many memories of the Berry Dairy Days Grand Parade: “It was about 1970 and local firefighters dressed up as clowns to help line up the parade participants and drove a convertible car in the parade.”
Berry Dairy Days is one of the oldest festivals in Skagit County. It still represents Burlington’s impressive agriculture and farming community.
Featured Website: Berry Dairy Days