Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival closes early after shots fired near fairgrounds

Staff Report
Fresh strawberries are shown in a file photo.

The Strawberry Festival in Ponchatoula closed early the night of April 9 after shots were fired near the festival fairgrounds, according to the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office.

The following day, Ponchatoula Police released more details on the shooting in the 200 block of W. Hickory Street.

In a Facebook post, Chief Jimmy Travis reported the initial investigation determined the incident occurred outside the festival grounds.

Police said no injuries were reported and the police department building was struck twice and an awning was hit once. A citizen's vehicle was also struck.

Police reported more than a dozen shelling casings were recovered from the scene and they believe there were at least two shooters.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Ponchatoula Police.

The Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival bills itself as the largest free festival in Louisiana. It returned after two years of cancellations due to the pandemic.

The festival, marking its 50th anniversary in 2022, runs April 8 to April 10.

According to a Louisiana State Police news release, 300,000 visitors are expected to attend the event in the downtown Ponchatoula area.