The town of Suonenjoki is located in the south-east Finland. However Suonenjoki is really small, it has quite official status of the capital… the capital of strawberries. Here are located the largest strawberry plantations in Finland reaching more than 650 hectares. Seasonal work on strawberry fields begins in early May and ends in mid-July. Colorful carnival, which takes place in Suonenjoki from 13 to 15 July each year, is dedicated to the end of the harvest. By the way, it is one of the oldest events of its kind in the country. For the first time strawberry carnival was held in 1970.
Celebration begins early in the morning, when the festive procession of decorated cars and horse carts starts to move through the whole city. All of them are moving to the Market Square and carry strawberries. After the arrival strict jury examines the harvest and chooses the King of the Carnival, who during three days will open all the festive events. At the same time the queen of the carnival (Miss Strawberry) is elected. This is the end of the official celebration. Guests of the strawberry carnival will enjoy contests and competitions, including speed berry eating. Farmers will participate in such competitions as “the largest berry”, “the most dreadful scarecrow”, etc. During the celebration in the center of Suonenjoki will operate grocery fair, where tourists will be able to taste dozens of dishes, which include strawberry. Music performances and grand fireworks will be organized at the evenings.
Suonenjoki is located in the Northern Savo province just 50 km from Kuopio. It is quite easy to get to the festival by car or bus. Admission to all events of the strawberry carnival is absolutely free.