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Mattituck Lions Club Strawberry Festival

Twins Alexa, left, and Jaxon, 3, of Salisbury,

Twins Alexa, left, and Jaxon, 3, of Salisbury, feed each other bites of their fresh strawberries at the 2015 Nassau County Strawberry Festival in Bellmore, on Saturday, May 30, 2015. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

It's the granddaddy of all festivals. Running for four days, it draws thousands to the rural farmland grounds in Mattituck each year.

On Thursday, hundreds of residents come out to the festival grounds to help hull the strawberries that will be used for the rest of the festival to make nonalcoholic daiquiris, shortcake, pies and chocolate-covered berries.

While the fruit takes center stage, plenty of fair-minded food vendors will be there, too, selling all sorts of usual carnival foods, from sausage and peppers to gyros to ice cream.

Reithoffer Shows runs the carnival for the event, with the largest movable Ferris wheel in the country. "They are much different than the ones you usually find at these things," Phil Centonze, a past president of the Mattituck Lions Club, says about the carnival operators. "They do state fairs."

Bands will be playing throughout the festival, and for the first time, the Beatles tribute band Strawberry Fields will perform in full costume, 3-5 p.m. Saturday.

Mattituck Lions Club Strawberry Festival

WHEN | WHERE June 18-21. 5-10 p.m. Thursday, June 18; 5-11 p.m. Friday, June 19; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, June 20, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, June 21, at 1175 Rte. 48, Mattituck


ADMISSION Free on Thursday ($20 ride bracelets); Friday: $5 ($30 ride bracelet); Saturday-Sunday: $7 ($30 ride bracelets). Free admission for children younger 5. Free admission for dads with paid child admission on Sunday.

PARKING Coming from the west, park at 660 Herrick's Lane, Jamesport, where shuttle bus service runs continuously to the festival.

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