Ripe and bursting with flavor, much-beloved strawberries will be front and center this weekend during the annual Strawberry Festival. One of the East End’s most anticipated events the festival is downhome fun at its finest featuring a carnival, vendors, live music and, of course, freshly picked strawberries.
Traditionally held on Father’s Day weekend, at the peak of the strawberry harvest, the festival infuses fun with philanthropy. The Mattituck Lions Club put on the first Strawberry Festival on June 16, 1955. The six-hour event raised $787 for local groups. Now in its 59th year the four-day events raises thousands for more than 20 organizations including Eastern Long Island Hospital, Peconic Panthers Football, Southold Town NJROTC, and East End Disabled Fund North Fork Parish Outreach.
The festival kicks off with Hulling Night on Thursday. One of the oldest and most beloved traditions of the Strawberry Festival, Hulling Night became a permanent fixture beginning in 1957.
Straight from the growers the strawberries are then served up in every way imaginable. Strawberry shortcake, daiquiris, pie and chocolate dipped berries are event staples. There will be no shortage of fair favorites either. The international food court will dish out gyros, funnel cakes, roasted corn, sausages, hamburgers, fries, pizza and ice cream.
Thursday is also the first night of the carnival at Strawberry Fields. Featuring 25 rides and dozens of carnival games there is something for kids of all ages.
There is shopping too. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday more than 120 booths will set up on the Strawberry Field selling hand-made jewelry, knitwear, candles and crafts.
No celebration would be complete without fireworks and the Strawberry Festival is no exception, so bring lawn chairs and enjoy the fireworks on Friday and Saturday.
Hulling Night is Thursday, June 13 at 5 p.m. at Strawberry Fields, Route 48 Mattituck. The full event schedule is as followed:
The carnival will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, June 13. A pay-one-Price ride Bracelet is $20; single ride tickets will be available as well. Admission is free on Thursday.
On Friday, June 14 the festival running from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Admission is $2 for adults and children ages 6 and older. Admission is waived for children 5 and under. A pay-one-Price ride Bracelet is $25; single ride tickets will be available as well. Fireworks are scheduled for 9 p.m.
On Saturday, June 15 the Strawberry Festival will be open from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and children ages 12 and older. Children ages 6 to 11 pay $3. Admission is waived for children 5 and under. A pay-one-Price ride Bracelet is $25; single ride tickets will be available as well. Fireworks are scheduled for 9 p.m.
On Sunday, June 16 the festival runs from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and children ages 12 and older. Children ages 6 to 11 pay $3. Admission is waived for children 5 and under. There is no admission charge for dads on Father’s Day when accompanied by paid child. A pay-one-Price ride Bracelet is $25; single ride tickets will be available as well. Fireworks are scheduled for 9 p.m.
Check out scenes from Strawberry Festivals past below: