Strawberry Festival Fosters Community Togetherness
The 32nd annual Strawberry Festival drew lots of families and friends to Lemont Saturday afternoon. Visitors basked under sunny skies soaking it all in. People sat at picnic tables enjoying ice cream, fresh strawberries, and other baked treats while listening to music from the bands OverheaD and the Red Dirt Poets.
“We walked here,” said Trish Pietraccini who stood next to her friend Jen Cavaleski. "It's awesome having something like this that is essentially right in our backyard.
“It’s nice to see all of the baked goods they have here,” Cavaleski said. “It’s definitely a cool community event.”
Pietraccini’s children enjoyed the festival and the chance to play outside on a beautiful day.
“My favorite part was painting,” said three-year old Dan Vincent Pietraccini who had a strawberry painted on his right cheek.
Dan’s sister Isabella tried her hand at arts and crafts. She was wearing a necklace with the paper strawberry she made hanging from it while sitting at a table coloring a picture.
Chloe Barry, a graduate student at Penn State, enjoyed some strawberries and ice cream. Berry says she heard about the festival from friends and wanted to see what it was all about.
State College resident, Blake Ferchalk, took in his first festival while watching his child play on a small slide set up atop a hill.
“We found out about the festival through some friends and figured we would check it out,” Ferchalk said. “I’m glad we did. We’re all having a great time so far.”
Sue Smith, who has been the chairperson for the event for 25 years explained that 20 people helped pick 184 quarts of strawberries. Thirty-six gallons of ice cream were also served up along with dozens of cakes that were baked by Lemont residents.
The annual Strawberry Festival benefits the Lemont Village Association, a group which encourages community pride and engagement.
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