DEER LAKE — The annual Strawberry Festival will include the usual array of games, rides and entertainment locals and visitors have come to expect from their berry-based merriment.
The traditional booths will be set up this week at Bowater Field and will include balloon games, craft sales and all the food attendees can stuff into their stomachs. But one group will be catering to the mind as well.
The Page One Writers will be on hand at the festival as they have been for more than a decade to promote literacy and local writers. Formed in 1987, Page One is a group that forms collections of local authors and promotes stories and artistry of the local area. Jamie Stuckless has been manning the booth for the group for 12 years, and said although it's not the kind of display one would imagine among cotton candy and a moonwalk, it is usually quite popular.
"We're not really looking to make a profit, so we deliberately adjust our prices on our games so that everyone can join in," he said. "People can win even if they have no money, we do have books that we can give away."
He said the fact that profit is not as important means the Page One Writers can do what they can for younger festival-goers as well as the adults.
"We're really looking to help the younger kids get in a bit more reading," he said. "Because they're not necessarily doing much of that now with the Internet and video games."
Page One member Jean Young, who is a Deer Lake councillor and author, said its not just about getting people to read.
"It's just inexpensive fun. We promote literacy, but we also promote creativity and sometimes that can include just playing in the sand," she said. "We're really looking to promote overall creativity (as well as) literacy."
The Deer Lake Strawberry Festival kicksoff Friday at 6 p.m. when the gates open at Bowater Field. Other than a booth, Page One will host an open mic night on Monday at the Hideaway Pub in Deer Lake.
For a complete schedule, visit the Town of Deer Lake's webpage.