It is the time of year when strawberries are front and center for the annual Mattituck Lions Club 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 combines fun with philanthropy.
The Mattituck Lions Club, which is dedicated to helping the visually impaired, put on the first Strawberry Festival on June 16, 1955. The six-hour event raised $787 for local groups. Now in its 60th year the four-day fair raises thousands for more than 20 organizations including Eastern Long Island Hospital, Peconic Panthers Football, Southold Town NJROTC and East End Disabled Benevolent Fund North Fork Parish Outreach.
The festival kicks off with hulling night on Thursday followed by three more days of fun and games.
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 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.
Hulling night is Thursday, June 12 at 5 p.m. at Strawberry Fields, Route 48 Mattituck. The carnival will begin at 6:30 p.m. that night, featuring 25 rides and dozens of carnival games.
Fun & Games
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.
Full Event Schedule:
Friday, June 13 the festival runs from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Admission is $2 for adults and children ages 6 and older. Admission is waived for children under five. A pay-one-price ride bracelet is $30; single ride tickets will be available as well. Fireworks are scheduled for 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 14 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 under five. A pay-one-price ride bracelet is $30; single ride tickets will be available as well. Fireworks are scheduled for 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 15 the festival runs from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and children ages 12 and older. Children ages six to 11 pay $3. Admission is waived for children under five. There is no admission charge for dads on Father’s Day when accompanied by a paying child. A pay-one-price ride bracelet is $30; single ride tickets will be available as well.