The first crop of strawberries at Catapano Farm in Southold is ready for harvest. (Credit: Cyndi Zaweski)
Is there a sweeter sign that summer is coming than the return of North Fork strawberries?
Juicy, ripe and red; these berries typically begin making an appearance on local farm stands starting in late May or early June, but you won’t have to wait quite that long if you visit Catapano Farms in Southold.
The 64th annual Mattituck Lions Club Strawberry Festival officially kicked off Thursday with hulling night. The hundreds of volunteers who helped prepare all the strawberries for the festival received a strawberry daiquiri.
The four-day festival features a full slate of events Saturday, including the crowning of the Strawberry Queen at 3 p.m. and the return of the shortcake-eating contest at 5 p.m.