PONCHATOULA, La. (WGNO)  — It’s a sweet weekend in Ponchatoula for some very eager festival-goers.

Saturday morning started with a way to meet the festival’s big wigs as they marched through the town.

Some of the party people said they loved getting back into the crowds.

“It’s really fun and I like being around everyone I know,” Carly Pardue said.

For strawberry farmers like the Liuzza’s, it’s a way to get back out serving their biggest supporters.

“My family has a farm and they grow berries for different places like Rouses,” Mike Liuzza said. “The festival is a big deal for our family.”

The parade was complete with dancers and bands from Ponchatoula schools taking some extra steps to get ready for the next event of the day — the strawberry eating contest.

The largest free fest in the state hosts other fare like deep-fried strawberries or strawberry funnel cake. Plus, you can leave with the best souvenir of all — fresh, local Ponchatoula berries.

“It means a lot,” Liuzza said. “It’s great for the community, huge for other farmers. It’s really a big deal.”