Tuesday, 19 March 2019 13:12

Berry Patch named North Carolina's Best Roadside Attraction

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ELLERBE — The “World’s Largest Strawberry” has earned yet another honor.

The Berry Patch was recently named the Tar Heel State’s Best Roadside Attraction by readers of StrangeCarolinas.com, beating out Wally’s Service Station/Mayberry Courthouse in Mount Airy.

“I was glad to get that award,” owner and Ellerbe Mayor Lee Berry said Tuesday. “I didn’t realize until a week ago that we were finalists.”

According to the website, readers had two weeks to nominate their favorite roadside attractions across the state for it’s Best in N.C. contest, then they voted on the top 10 finalists.

“We beat out a lot of stiff competition,” Berry said.

Aside from the Mayberry throwback, the other roadside finalists were:

  • Cryptozoology and Paranormal Museum in Littleton
  • Futuro UFO House in Frisco
  • House Of Mugs in Collettesville
  • Mary's Gone Wild in Supply
  • Shangri-La Stone Village in Prospect Hill
  • Shell-Shaped Service Station in Winston-Salem
  • Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park in Wilson
  • World's Largest Chest Of Drawers in High Point

“(It’s) just another way to put Ellerbe on the map,” Berry said. “Anything I can do to bring attention to it.”

Berry and wife Amy opened the produce and ice cream stand in 2002 a mile south from its current location. However, the state bought the land for the U.S. 220/Interstate 73/74 widening project and the Berry’s moved to Exit 25 on the corner of U.S. 220 and Cargo Road in late 2012, re-opening the following year.

“It was wintertime, so it was a good time to get everything done,” Berry said.

The Berry Patch sells a variety of local fruits and vegetables along with jams, jellies and other N.C.-made products — and, of course, ice cream from the giant strawberry.

It gained national notoriety in 2014 when Jon Stewart, then host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” declared it as “The World’s Largest Strawberry” rather than a site in Iowa that made the same claim.

In its Best of NC competition, Strange Carolinas also listed the top three winners in music, art, shopping, food and other strangeness, including Best Ghost Story and Best Urban Legend.

For Best Music Festival, readers named Carolina Rebellion/Epicenter as the third-best in the state. (Promoters point out that although Epicenter is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents and the same dates as the former Carolina Rebellion, it is a different festival.)

The inaugural Epicenter Festival is slated for May 10-12 at Rockingham Dragway.

Duck Donuts, which has a location in Southern Pines, won second place for best doughnuts.


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