The Strawberry Moon celebration on Friday, June 25 at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester. Emma Sorkin / Lakes Region Weekly

New Gloucester’s Pineland Farms’ strawberry-picking celebration last weekend was a  welcome breath of fresh air for those who love the outdoors, music, camaraderie and, or course, strawberries.

The Strawberry Moon Festival, held at Pineland June 24-26, included food trucks, a cash bar, live music and strawberry picking.

“It was just something different than you would do in the evenings with music and food … it’s really something that’s unique,” said Ariel Trovencal, office manager for the Pineland produce farm. “This is definitely an event to help get families and people out and doing something different with their afternoon and evening hours.

The Strawberry Moon celebration offered strawberry picking, food trucks, a bar and live music for guests of all ages. Emma Sorkin / Lakes Region Weekly

Elizabeth Jacobson of North Yarmouth usually picks her strawberries at Pineland Farms during the day, but opted for the celebration on Friday night instead.

“It’s nice to be outside now instead of coming in the heat of the day,” Jacobson said.


The festival gets its name from the full moon phenomenon in June that marks the beginning of strawberry picking season. Strawberry Moon is the name traditionally used by the Algonquin tribes.

The event first took place in 2019 for one night and was canceled last summer due to the pandemic.

This year’s event was capped at 500 people per night and sold out for each night.

“I think there’s a lot of excitement,” Trovencal said. “People are thrilled to come back to pick your own. I’m sure there were some who didn’t pick last year, just because they weren’t getting out in public as much, especially our older audiences.”

Maine is one of the best pick-your-own berry states, tied for seventh in a ranking by Gurney’s Seed & Nursery, a garden and plant company based in Indiana. Maine’s ranking for strawberries alone came in fourth place, behind Delaware, Vermont and Wisconsin.

Strawberry season came early this year because of the weather, local farmers said. There was little spring frost, allowing the berries to grow quickly and soundly.


Pineland has seen more people doing pick-your-own strawberries this season so far.

“The berries came in full and fast, and the picking is great this year,” Trovencal said. “Our numbers are definitely higher so far this year than last year … but I think we’ll certainly have berries through July 4.”

As the pandemic restrictions ease in Maine, so do the guidelines for strawberry picking.

Pocket Full of Mumbles, from left, Mike Conant, Hal Phillips and Tim Howie, performed at the three-day event. Contributed / Hal Phillips

“This is our first outdoor outing,” said Jan Barrett, who came from Lewiston with her cousin, daughter and grandson. “It feels liberating. It’s nice to be around other people, and it’s well organized and well spread out.”

Pocket Full of Mumbles, a “Simon-and-Garfunkel-inspired trio,” performed all three nights of the festival.

“This was the band’s first big gig since the pandemic,” said guitar player Hal Phillips. “Generally it was really great, and there were more people there each day. They got closer to the stage, and it felt like they remembered how to attend an event just as we were getting used to performing again.”

Clayton Whalen, who works for The Bar Association, a mobile bartending company set up at the celebration, also said the celebration was a success.

“Everybody seems happy to be here,” Whalen said. “It’s a relief. There’s excitement to be able to socialize, get out and do something different.”

With reporting from The Morning Sentinel.

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