One Long Island town will continue a storied – and tasty – tradition this weekend, when the Mattituck Lion’s club hosts its 57th Annual Strawberry Festival.
The festival, which began as a one-day fundraising event for the Lion’s Club, has evolved into a three-day celebration of all things strawberry.
All of the strawberries eaten over the course of the weekend will be hulled by around 400 volunteers Thursday evening. Phil Centonze, the festival’s publicity chairman, promises that this year’s crop is a strong one.
“Last year it peaked too early and we were scrounging around for strawberries. This year, though, the berries are sweeter than ever,” he says.
While typical festival fare such as pizza, sausage and souvlaki is available, the crowd is there for the strawberry offerings, which include chocolate-covered berries, daquiris and pie. The strawberry shortcake, however, is the event’s standout dish.
“It’s an obscene amount of food. Generally when people get it, their eyes bulge out because there’s no way one person could eat a whole piece. So generally they’ll share it between two people or get it for their three kids to munch on,” Centonze says.
The festival will also feature over 120 art vendors, a carnival with over 25 rides and Saturday’s crowning of the Strawberry Queen.
“You get a souvlaki, you get a strawberry shortcake, you get a daquiri, you ride one or two of the rides and it’s a fun day,” Centonze says.
All proceeds from the festival will be given to charities, including the Clearly School for the Deaf, Guide Dog Foundation and Vacation Camp for the Blind.
What: 57th Annual Mattituck Strawberry
When: 5 p.m. – 11 p.m., Friday; 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday
Where: 1175 route 48 Mattituck NY 11952
Cost: $2 Friday, $5 Saturday and Sunday; Free for kids five and under; Free for dads on Sunday