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(From left) Haley Lake, Lily Jansen, Eva Harkin, Viki Harkin, of Mattituck at the Mattituck Lion's Club Strawberry Festival hulling night. (Credit: Kendall Stark photos)
(From right) Haley Lake, Lily Jansen, Eva Harkin, Viki Harkin, of Mattituck at the 61st annual Mattituck Lions Strawberry Festival hulling night. (Credit: Kendall Stark photos)

Wearing white gloves covered in sticky red juice, hundreds of volunteers hulled thousands of berries for the 61st annual Mattituck Lions Club’s Strawberry Festival on Thursday evening.

Hulling night, an annual tradition, is held the first night of the four-day fair. The hulled berries are made into strawberry shortcake, daiquiris, pie and more.

Some of those in attendance said the strawberry festival, which features a carnival, food and craft vendors and more, has been a family tradition for years.

“I’ve been coming to the Strawberry Festival the past 20 years, and Julia [my daughter] has come with me the past 9 years,” said Rick Tesoro of Centereach. “The people are so friendly, and it’s so beautiful out here. This is our first time hulling. I wanted to teach my daughter what it means to volunteer, that way during the festival she can see that we were a part of this.”

For some, the hulling night tradition stretches even longer.

“I’ve been coming to hulling night for 16 years because I enjoy it so much,” said Sheila Mueller of Aquebogue. “My son used to come with me but he’s moved away. My record last year was 21 quarts, I’m hoping to beat it this year.”

Of the nearly 10,000 clamshells of strawberries used, some are grown on the North Fork — though many more are imported.

The festival continues today, Saturday, and Sunday at the Strawberry Fieleds on Route 48 in Mattituck.

Jann and Kent Robins of Mattituck
Jann and Kent Robins of Mattituck
Brian Mosblech, Missy Weiss, and Fischer Mosblech of Cutchogue.
Brian Mosblech, Missy Weiss, and Fischer Mosblech of Cutchogue.
Sheila Mueller of Aquebogue "I've been coming to hulling night for 16 years because I enjoy it so much. My son used to come with me but he's moved away. My record last year was 21 quarts, I'm hoping to beat it this year."
Sheila Mueller of Aquebogue
“I’ve been coming to hulling night for 16 years because I enjoy it so much. My son used to come with me but he’s moved away. My record last year was 21 quarts, I’m hoping to beat it this year.”
Michelle Fevola, Ashley Marron, and Carly Batist of Mattituck
Michelle Fevola, Ashley Marron, and Carly Batist of Mattituck
Sharlie Tellez, Daya Tellez, and Francisco Tellez of Mattituck
Sharlie Tellez, Daya Tellez, and Francisco Tellez of Mattituck
Tyler Cordasci of Southold
Tyler Cordasci of Southold

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Marty and Margie Dunn "We've been married for 45 years, and every year we come to hull strawberries. We come with our friends and see who can chuck the fastest."
Marty and Margie Dunn
“We’ve been married for 45 years, and every year we come to hull strawberries. We come with our friends and see who can chuck the fastest.”
Lynette Wigington and her daughter
Lynette Wigington and her daughter
Shauna Huizing of Riverhead and Corie Araneo of Mattituck
Shauna Huizing of Riverhead and Corie Araneo of Mattituck
Rick and Julia Tesoro, of Centereach. "I've been coming to the Strawberry Festival the past 20 years, and Julia has come with me the past 9 years. The people are so friendly, and it's so beautiful out here. This is our first time hulling - I wanted to teach my daughter what it means to volunteer - that way during the festival she can see that we were a part of this."
Rick and Julia Tesoro, of Centereach.
“I’ve been coming to the Strawberry Festival the past 20 years, and Julia has come with me the past 9 years. The people are so friendly, and it’s so beautiful out here. This is our first time hulling – I wanted to teach my daughter what it means to volunteer – that way during the festival she can see that we were a part of this.”
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