This weekend marks the 75th Annual Poteet Strawberry Festival. From April 21 through April 24, festival-goers can take part in the freshest of the fruit or other foods made with the locally grown strawberries like shortcake and pie.

New this year are a concert stage, a new lineup of performers and grounds improvements, according to festival organizers.

The festival weekend draws more than 100,000 people to the town of 3,500 located just 30 miles south of San Antonio, festival organizers said.

Competitions include the strawberries themselves, as well as a baking competition. The festival includes a carnival, a rodeo, fair foods like chicken on a stick, turkey legs, roasted corn and gorditas, as well as more than 150 vendors with foods, strawberry-themed art, crafts and products.

The Poteet Country Winery also provides wine to be sold at the festival, including strawberry, strawberry grape, and other flavors.

The festival got its start in 1948 as an event hosted by the Poteet Rotary Club to provide returning World War II veterans “an incentive to stay on the farm,” according to Brent Carson, Poteet Strawberry Festival Association director.

Originally the festival was held downtown but in 1980, several civic organizations worked to create the Poteet Strawberry Festival Association, and bought property on Highway 16 to hold the annual event, Carson said. The festival moved to its new location in 1981 and has remained there since.