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Take your pick at East End peach festival

The peach-eating contest is a big hit at

The peach-eating contest is a big hit at the Harbes Annual Peach Festival in Mattituck in August.  Photo Credit: T. Mulrain

Are you fuzzy about what to do this weekend? If so, you might want to check out the free Harbes Annual Peach Festival being held Aug. 24 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the family’s farm in Mattituck.

There’ll be lots to do, see, eat and hear for aficionados of the fuzzy fruit, including peach-eating contests, the crowning of a Peach King and Queen, homemade peach ice cream, peach pie and live music — all in special celebration of Long Island’s peach season and this year’s 30th anniversary of the Harbes Family Farm.

“Peaches on Long Island are typically at their best in early August, so it’s a relatively brief time and we want to draw attention to that,” says farm owner Ed Harbes Sr. “There’s nothing like a local ripened peach picked at the peak of maturity. We focus on things like peach ice cream to remind people that eating an ideal peach is one of the highlights of summer.”

Harbes notes his farm specializes in doughnut peaches, which, he says, “people consider the best-tasting peaches.” Doughnut peaches have white flesh and a flattish, round shape. He says the peach-eating contest will be a competition for who can eat a peach the fastest, but he says there’s a “surprise” involved that will make the contest much more difficult than it sounds. The male and female winners are crowned Peach King and Queen.

But there’ll be much more than peaches available during the festival weekend, Harbes adds. “There are a lot of activities for the whole family,” he says.

Also on the property for attendees to enjoy is the Harbes Barnyard Adventure and a wine barn as well as a picnic area. The 8-acre Barnyard Adventure includes farm animals, a magic show, a singing hayride tour of the 100-acre farm, pig races, children’s activities, “Jumbo Jumpers” bounce pillows and a Sports Zone featuring baseball, football and basketball tossing games. A “Lil’ Farmers PlayLand” that is part of the Barnyard Adventure has a trike track and a musical animatronic chicken show for preschoolers.

There is a fee to enter the Barnyard Adventure, $19.95 for anyone 3 or older. Admission is free for children 2 and younger.

Wine lovers can visit the Wine Barn behind the main farm stand in a 100-year-old renovated potato barn. Tastings will be offered of the Harbes’ award-winning wines, and wine by the glass or the bottle can be enjoyed under an umbrella on the Wine Barn’s patio.

Tim Mulrain, a Riverhead resident who is vice president of marketing for the farm, adds that the peach festival is in its third year and that face painting and candle making are also being planned.

Harbes Peach Festival

WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Aug. 24-25 at 715 Sound Ave., Mattituck

INFO 631-298-0700, harbesfamilyfarm.com

ADMISSION Free ($19.95 ages 3 and older for Barnyard Adventure play area)

Want to pick your own peaches? Here's a sampling of places to go:

Hayden Orchard

WHERE 561 Hulse Landing Rd., Wading River

INFO 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays but call ahead for varying weekday hours; 631-929-1115

Wickham’s Fruit Farm

WHERE 28700 Main Rd., Cutchogue

INFO 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 631-734-6441, wickhamsfruitfarm.com

Lewin Farms

WHERE 812 Sound Ave., Calverton

INFO Call for varying days and hours; 631-929-4327, lewinfarm.com

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