This year's festival is dedicated to
Gloria Francis Bishop Whittington
1946 - 2016
of Marion Station, Maryland
Gloria was born in 1946 in Crisfield, Maryland, to Roger and Marvis Bishop. She was a longtime resident of Marion Station, and a 1964 graduate of Carter G. Woodson High School in Crisfield, Maryland.
Gloria was a very active member of the Somerset County Arts Council; and was very involved with the Strawberry Festival's History and HeyDay Picker's Exhibit. Additionally, Gloria's strawberry roots ran deep in Marion, with her being one of the "heyday" picker's during Marion's strawberry boom.
As a 14 year Breast Cancer Survivor, Gloria promoted an Annual Breast Cancer Awareness month at John Wesley U.M. church every October. It made her happy to see the pink being worn; and she rewarded participants with baked goods and gift drawings.
Gloria courageously lost her battle with cancer in September of 2016. She is survived by her husband of 49 years, "Jit" Whittington, four children, her many grandchildren; and countless other friends and family whom were blessed to know her and the words of encouragement she had for everyone she met.
about the festival
The Somerset Strawberry festival is sponsored by the Somerset County Arts Council; and has a little something for everyone. We will feature Phil Rayfield Memorial Walk / Run, the Junior Miss Strawberry Pageant, the Little Miss and Mr. Strawberry Pageant, a Marion history exhibit, various singing performances from local schools and choirs, local school bands, dancers, a bounce house, art vendors, homemade craft vendors, kids activities, delicious food vendors, and, of course STRAWBERRIES!
Go to our "ITINERARY" page for more information!!
"Strawberry Capital of the World"
Marion was the chief center of activity for all farming and general business activities for a large part of Somerset County.
For many years it was famous for being the largest shipper of strawberries in the entire world. The auction block at Marion was located in the center of the town. Buyers as far distant as Pittsburgh and Chicago congregated there to buy berries grown throughout Somerset County and parts of Worcester and Wicomico Counties. During that period, Marion was so crowded with people that one had difficulty traveling from one end of the town to the other!!
Strawberry was the “King” which over a period of years poured millions of dollars through Marion into the hands of buyers and farmers.
For more information on Marion and the "Strawberry Capital of the World", please click here .
To see an up-close exhibit on the history of the Strawberry in Marion Station, please visit the Strawberry Festival where you can view photos and memorabilia in person.
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