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April 11, 2024

Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival Begins Tomorrow

The annual Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival will take place April 12th through April 14th. For more
information about the festival, please visit http://www.lastrawberryfestival.com/

Louisiana State Police report that over 300,000 visitors are expected in the downtown Ponchatoula area. This increased traffic is likely to overload the surrounding interstate system causing dangerous backups from heavily congested off-ramps. This type of traffic could force intermittent closures of interstate exits. In an effort to improve the flow of traffic and ensure that everyone has a safe festival weekend, Troop L urges motorists to follow the following alternate route advisories when entering and leaving the Ponchatoula area.

From Baton Rouge: Exit Interstate 12 Eastbound at Pumpkin Center exit #35, proceed south to LA 22, then continue east on LA 22 into Ponchatoula.

From Covington / Slidell: Exit Interstate 12 Westbound at LA 445 exit #47, proceed south to LA 22, then continue west on LA 22 into Ponchatoula.

From Mandeville: Take LA 22 west into Ponchatoula.

From New Orleans: Take the Causeway Bridge into Mandeville and proceed to LA 22 west into Ponchatoula.

Louisiana State Police will be working closely with local law enforcement agencies to ensure everyone enjoys the festival and has a safe weekend. There will also be additional troopers on patrol throughout the festival weekend proactively looking for impaired and aggressive drivers in the area.

Please remember, when it comes to road safety, it takes everyone’s participation. Those traveling the roadways should develop a plan that includes the guidelines below to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy festival activities without jeopardizing their lives or the lives of others: 

· Do not drive distracted;

· Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;

· Before drinking, please designate a sober driver and give that person your keys;

· If you’re impaired, call a taxi, ride-share service, or a sober friend/family member for a safe ride home;

· If you encounter a suspected impaired driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement;

· If you know someone is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely;

· Always buckle up. The proper use of seatbelts continues to be the single most effective precaution one can take to greatly reduce the chance of being seriously injured or killed in the event of a crash.

While troopers will remain vigilant throughout the Ponchatoula and Troop L region, responsible decisions, good driving behavior, and precautionary measures will ensure a safe and enjoyable festival experience for everyone. 

To report impaired drivers or unsafe roadway conditions, dial *LSP (*577) to reach the State Police office closest to you. 

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