The Tennessee Strawberry Festival Committee has released this year’s full schedule of events and announced the theme of “2020: A Berry Bright Future.”

As in previous years, the festival will officially kick off on Saturday, April 25, with the Strawberry Festival Scholarship Pageant at Rhea County High School, followed by Family Fun Night at Pendergrass Park at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 4.

The carnival will be returning with rides and games this year and is set to open at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5. The carnival opens at 6 p.m. each night of Strawberry Festival week, except on Saturday, May 9, when it opens at 1 p.m.

Fan favorites will be returning to the festival this year, such as the Pie and Cake Contest and Strawberry Shortcake Night on Wednesday, May 6.

On Thursday, May 7, food and craft vendors will begin setting up shop on the Rhea County Courthouse lawn in preparation for a weekend full of activities. Also on May 7, the Dayton Art League will be hosting its annual art show in the courthouse, and it will remain open throughout the festival.

Music will fill the air the night of Friday, May 8, when entertainment on the Centennial Park Stage begins at 5 p.m. and continues until 10:30 p.m.

Parade day — Saturday, May 9— will be a busy day for festival-goers as the day begins with the Ed Gentry Memorial Run/Walk at 7 a.m. The Dayton Rotary Club will also begin its annual pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 9.

The children’s play area will open on the courthouse lawn at 9 a.m. on parade day and will continue until dark. Also throughout the day, Gospel music entertainment will be available on the courthouse stage, and various other entertainers will be performing on the Centennial Page until dark.

At 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, the signature event of the festival — the Tennessee Strawberry Festival Parade, which draws thousands to downtown Dayton — will begin and parade along Market Street through downtown Dayton.

For more information on the festival and how to participate in the various activities, visit the festival’s website at