Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Big Strawberry down, but not out

Big bruised fruit is in for repairs a year after experiencing minor damage in tornado.

ROBERT HENSON April 4, 2014 4:32am

Koonoomoo's Big Strawberry is taken for repairs following tornado damage.

Many were pleased to see Koonoomoo’s Big Strawberry survive 2013’s tornado that swept the region.

But Big Strawberry team member Nicky Goldsworthy said, on closer inspection, the giant steel and fibreglass structure needed repairs and was transported to Cobram on Friday.

Ms Goldsworthy said last year’s tornado had a ‘‘sand-blasting effect’’ on the 7.5tonne strawberry’s steel exterior.

‘‘We didn’t realise it was that bad — but on close inspection in the months afterwards we realised how much structural damage it had taken.’’

Following the ‘theft’ of Bowen’s Big Mango in North Queensland, local wits suggested the world’s biggest fruit salad was taking shape.

‘‘(People were saying) ‘look out the Big Banana, you could be next’, that sort of thing,’’ Ms Goldsworthy said.

Along with paint stripped away by debris in the tornado, leaves at the top of the strawberry were broken.

It’s the first time the iconic fruit has been taken down since it was first put up in 2005.

Ms Goldsworthy said the tourism attraction had been inundated by confused calls, texts and social media inquiries, some asking if the business had now closed.

‘‘People are looking for the strawberry, and because it’s not out the front, people can’t find us. It’s hilarious.’’

It is not known when the strawberry is likely to be fully repaired and returned.

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