The 63rd Annual Mattituck Lions Strawberry Festival - Long Island's original and largest Strawberry Festival and Charity Fund Raiser - is returning to the East End over Father's Day weekend. Taking place Thursday, June 15 through Sunday, June 18, attendees will find farm fresh strawberry delicacies, rides galore, local vendors, live music, and exciting attractions for all ages.
"This year's festival is set to go! It is shaping up to be one of the best ever," noted Phil Centonze. "It's a great way for a family to celebrate Father's Day along with the days leading up to it!"
Since it is all about the strawberry, local growers will highlight the beloved fruit in just about every way you can think of - from fabulous strawberry shortcake to daiquiris to pie to chocolate dipped berries and more. When you need a break from the sweet options, head to the international food court which will offer gyros, funnel cakes, roasted corn, sausages, hamburgers, French fries, pizza, ice cream, non-alcoholic beverages and coffee.
With over 25 rides and a variety of midway games, they'll be no shortage of amusement for thrill seekers. The Strawberry Festival Carnival will also include a giant Ferris Wheel and over a dozen rides geared towards younger fairgoers.
Other happenings will include a Hulling Night, a "lite" and "great" fireworks show, live music, an appearance by Jester Jim and Nature Nick, and more. The crowning of the Strawberry Queen, a young woman who has fascinated Festival judges with her poise, academic achievements, varied interests and a dedication to community service, will take place on Saturday at 3 p.m. The Strawberry Festival Queen will receive a scholarship and serve as a Mattituck Lions Club representative at various events throughout the year.
The Festival will also showcase over 120 booths displaying unique handcrafted items. Featured vendors will include Scents 4 My Soul, New Age Clothing Handicrafts, Sunshine Handcrafts, World of Wool, The Giving Tree, Island Chimney Service, Peconic Bay Power Squadron, Gutter Helmet Systems, Leaf Filter of New York, Inc., Renewable by Anderson, Republic of Handcraft, Through the Eyes of David, Really Good Fruit Spreads, Chatterwalls, FarmtoBottle, Names Unlimited, Long Island Greyhound Connection, Kira-Michael Gems, Gail Carter Face Painting, Eakta Gandhi, Some Like it Hot and Spicy Inc., Mastercraft, Farmstead Apothecary, Heitmann's Gourmet Nuts & Specialties, Jessica's Closet, HL Sea & Beach Glass Jewelry, Silver Creations, Newspaper and More Too Inc., Flatline Glass, Yan Yan Ling, Rebecca Dolber - R.E.D., South Fork Bakery, North Fork Animal Welfare League
, HRHCare, Boy Scouts of Suffolk County, North Shore Eye Care, Cozy Corner, Irish Gypsy Vending, Summerwinds Gifts Inc., Beixedon Herb Farm LLC, Lulu's Creations, CG Designs, Kitchen Craft, R&L Plaster and Sports, New York Life, Gourd Sisters, Last Chance Animal Rescue
, Custer Institute and Observatory, Schweiger Dermatology Group, LI Abate, North Fork Therapeutic Riding Program, Guide Dog Foundation, Connoisseur Media, Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski, Gr8 Things, GCH Designs and Services, D and K Baubles, Liquid Luv Cakes Jars and Confections, Greenport Jerky Company, and more.
"I always say the Mattituck Lions Strawberry Festival is 'a slice of Heaven with a Berry on top,'" added Centonze.
Admission is free on Thursday. The entry fee for adults and children ages 5-years-old and older is $5 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, while children under 5-years-old get in free the entire Festival.
The Strawberry Festival site is located at 1175 Route 48 in Mattituck. For more information, visit mattituckstrawberryfestival.org.
Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com