Ponchatoula is known for their strawberry festival in the spring.
As soon as you enter the town, you’ll start to see strawberries everywhere, including a 12 foot strawberry statue and several other strawberry themed works of art.
You’ll also notice strawberries on quilt squares, hanging outside homes and businesses in the area.
The Louisiana Quilt Trail was founded in 2011 by a group of women, including mayor Bob Zabbia’s wife, Kim.
The women wanted to strengthen community spirit and encourage tourism in the north shore region. “It adds a little bit more to the flavor of the city,” Zabbia said.
The trail was a hit. It spread to 5 different parishes, and now there are more than 100 official quilt squares, including one at mayor Zabbia’s house.
“Kim is an artist and I have a farm out East of town, and I have a tractor, so it’s a combination of her brushes, my tractor, and we have a place down in Florida that we like on the beach, and we’ve got some shells in the middle as well,” said Zabbia.
Paul’s cafe also has quilt square, and history represented in the art. Paul has been a volunteer fireman in Ponchatoula since 1976, the same year he opened his restaurant. His daughter, Becky Smith, bought the restaurant from him a few years ago.
Their quilt square represents the volunteer firemen, their community gathering spot, and their famous strawberry daiquiris, which are made will 100% local berries.
“We make our own puree and we use aged cruzan rum, it really blends well with the berries and there’s no red dye and nothing imitation about it,” Smith said.
Paul’s cafe is a good place for tourists looking to experience the southern hospitality of Ponchatoula.
“When you come in the cafe, you’re immediately greeted with a smile,” Smith said.