Sign up for our Newsletter

The Mattituck Lion’s Club Strawberry Festival is back for its 68th year. (Photo credit: Jeremy Garretson)

From Wednesday, June 14 through Sunday, June 18, indulge in strawberry delicacies such as chocolate-covered strawberries, daiquiris, pie and shortcake, get dizzy on one of the 25 rides and stroll the rows of artisan craft vendors.

The festival, now in its 68th year, began in 1955, when three members of Mattituck Lions Club members visited the world-famous Strawberry Festival in Plant City, Fla. That Father’s Day weekend, when the first Mattituck Strawberry Festival was held — drawing a little over 1,000 attendees — no one could have predicted how rich a North Fork tradition it would become.

“It is really a community event, a true local event — even though people come from as far as Nassau County and New York City,” current festival chairman Mike O’Donnell said in an interview with Northforker last year. “It’s a tradition that benefits the community and I think people see how well done it is and keep coming back.”

This year, the fairgrounds will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Hulling Night, a time-honored community tradition, kicks things off Wednesday, June 14, when friends and family gather under the big tent to hull over 100,000 strawberries — all of which will be used during the five-day festival. That night also features a live performance by Cheap N’ Dirty Band at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free this night.

On Thursday, June 15, the “North Fork’s Got Talent” showcase returns for its second year. Tryouts, which are open to all residents of Southold, Riverhead and Shelter Island towns, will take place Sunday, June 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at North Fork Community Theatre in Mattituck. Like last year, the showcase will have two divisions: the “Inspiring Group” for ages 15 and under and the “Sassy Group” for those 16 and up. Anyone interested in participating can sign up to try out at

Friday night features a performance by That Motown Band at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, reggae-rock group Aqua Cherry performs at noon and the crowning of the 2023 Strawberry Queen takes place at 4 p.m. That ceremony — nearly as old as the festival itself — honors a young woman who has “impressed the judges with her poise, academic success, range of interests and commitment to community service,” according to the Mattituck Lions. Last year’s winner, Francesca Lynch of Southold, will pass her crown to one of five nominees: Madeline Palumbo, Alexandra Piscatelli, Cameron Stanton, Reagan Treharne and Caroline Little.

Major League Eating’s World Strawberry Shortcake Eating Championship returns to the North Fork Saturday at 5 p.m. followed by live music from Fever Band. Weather permitting, Thursday through Saturday nights will finish with a fireworks show.

On Father’s Day, Sunday, June 18, dads are admitted free with the purchase of a child’s ticket and the festival wraps up with alternating family-friendly performances by Jester Jim and Nature Nick.

Entrance to the festival on Thursday is $5 for adults and children over the age of 5. Friday through Sunday, tickets are $10 for adults and children over 5. Ride bracelets will be available for purchase throughout the five-day festival and cost between $30 and $40, depending on the time and date of purchase.

For more information, visit