IN LATE JUNE, strawberry festivals dot the southern Maine landscape. Many are fundraisers for community projects, and you are guaranteed to get lots of strawberries for your money – plus crafts, live music and family fun. Here’s a guide to some of the best-known festivals:
WHAT: 38th Annual New Gloucester Strawberry Festival
WHEN: 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: Congregational Church Vestry, 19 Gloucester Hill Road (just off Route 231)
HOW MUCH: Free
WHAT ELSE: Berries with homemade biscuits and Hodgman’s frozen custard; baked-goods table and live music from the Berry, Berry Good Band; scale model of the proposed New Gloucester Veterans’ Monument will be on display.
FMI: Sponsored by the New Gloucester Historical Society.
WHAT: First Parish Church Annual Strawberry Festival
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. June 28
WHERE: At the gazebo on Farmer’s Market Day
HOW MUCH: Free; purchases help support the church’s music programs
WHAT ELSE: Shortcakes, sundaes, jams and pies.
WHAT: 5th Annual Cape Farm Alliance Strawberry Festival
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 29
WHERE: Maxwell’s strawberry field, Two Lights Road
HOW MUCH: Free admission
WHAT ELSE: Fill up on strawberry goodies, listen and dance to music and peruse items for sale from various artisans and vendors.
WHAT: Annual Cornish Strawberry Festival
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 29
WHERE: Thompson Park in Cornish Village
HOW MUCH: Free
WHAT ELSE: Locally grown strawberries, strawberry desserts, craft fair and entertainment
WHAT: Annual Strawberry Festival
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. June 29
WHERE: Nathaniel Hawthorne House, 40 Hawthorne Road (at the corner of Hawthorne and Cape roads)
HOW MUCH: $10 donation for adults, $5 for children 8 and under. All proceeds go directly to maintain or improve the Hawthorne House.
WHAT ELSE: This is not a classic strawberry festival, but rather a way to educate people about the home where the famous author spent his youth, with lots of strawberry shortcake thrown in for good measure. This year the event is being held in conjunction with the Raymond Garden Tour, which benefits the Raymond Village Library. The speaker will be Judy Paolini, author of “The Inspired Garden.” Strawberry shortcake will be served at 4:30 p.m.
FMI: Space is limited, so reservations are suggested. Call 655-7660 or email [email protected]
WHAT: South Berwick Strawberry Festival
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 29
WHERE: Central School grounds, 197 Main St.
HOW MUCH: Admission is free, but bring money for food, crafts, etc.
WHAT ELSE: More than 20,000 visitors take in this annual festival, which features entertainment, more than 100 artisans and a strawberry shortcake and strawberrry cheesecake tent. Trolleys provide free transportation to the festival. The day begins with a road race and pancake breakfast. A food court sells chicken barbecue, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, fried dough, frozen lemonade and other food.
WHAT: 61st Annual St. Philip’s Strawberry Festival
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 29
WHERE: St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church, 12 Hodge St.
HOW MUCH: Free
WHAT ELSE: Features a pie auction at noon, lots of local crafters, bake sale, hot dogs, plant sale, silent auction and children’s activity area.
FMI: 882-7184 or [email protected]
WHAT: 66th Annual Strawberry Festival
WHEN: 1 to 6 p.m. July 6
WHERE: Washington Fire Department on
Old Union Road
HOW MUCH: No admission fee, but bring money to buy home-baked goods and raffle tickets.
WHAT ELSE: The menu will include strawberry shortcake, strawberry pie, strawberry pizza and assorted sandwiches. Entertainment by the Possums and Medomak
Steel Drum Band.
FMI: Sponsored by the Ladies Guild of Washington; 845-3102.
WHAT: Rangeley Region Guides and Sportsmen’s Association Strawberry Festival
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 11
WHERE: Oquossoc Park, Carry Road
HOW MUCH: Free
WHAT ELSE: Strawberry shortcake, pies, crafts, gifts and yard sale.
FMI: Call Renee Sopel at 864-2187.
PICK YOUR OWN
HERE’S A SAMPLING of farms in southern Maine where you can pick your own strawberries. It’s a good idea to call ahead, because farms occasionally close for a day to let berries ripen.
Usually Riverside Farm Stand and Greenhouse in North Berwick is on this list, but that farm will not have a pick-your-own operation this year because of a crop failure in that particular field. They will, however, still be selling strawberries from other fields they have harvested themselves.
Strawberry fields are off Two Lights Road and are marked with red and green signs.
HOURS: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday; 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. Always closed Sundays. Cash or checks only.
STRAWBERRY HOTLINE: 799-3383
WILLIAM H. JORDAN FARM
21 Wells Road
HOURS: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.
STRAWBERRY HOTLINE: 767-2740
ALEWIVES BROOK FARM
83 Old Ocean House Road (Route 77)
HOURS: 9 a.m. until sunset, usually about 7 or 7:30 p.m.
BUSINESS NUMBER (NOT a hotline; do not call after hours): 799-7743
AHLQUIST FARM STAND
20 Small Pond Road
HOURS: 7 a.m. to noon Monday to Friday
187 Doles Ridge Road
HOURS: 6 a.m. to noon and 5 to 8 p.m. daily, except when closed to ripen
STRAWBERRY HOTLINE: 793-4409
PINELAND FARMS/GILLESPIE FARMS DIVISION
752 Mayall Road
HOURS: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. Ten percent senior discount on Wednesdays for pickers ages 62 and older. No dogs.
STRAWBERRY HOTLINE: 657-2877
LAVIGNE STRAWBERRY FARM
158 Whichers Mill Road
HOURS: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. No credit cards.
STRAWBERRY HOTLINE: 324-5497
85 Spiller Farm Lane
HOURS: 8 a.m. to close (closing time varies) Monday to Thursday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday
STRAWBERRY HOTLINE: 985-2575