by Tiffany Hyman
Are you a strawberry fanatic? Do you enjoy eating while being entertained? If so, then Youngstown's Strawberry Festival just may be the place for you.
"The food is great, the band is excellent and the fellowship is outstanding," said Karran Swayze, warden at St. John's Episcopal Church.
The two-day festival, which has taken place for more than three decades, begins on Saturday, June 18, and runs through Sunday, June 19, from noon to 4 p.m. Guests can eat, watch a local-hit band and enter for a chance to win in a basket raffle, all while supporting the local community.
Swayze is delighted to be a part of the event and support local business and the community.
"We are all about our local suppliers," she said. "It's important to support and pay back to the community."
Diane Carr, owner of Carr's Farm Market of Youngstown, will once again donate the strawberries.
Carr has supported the festival for five years. She provides fresh strawberries at excellent quality and sells hundreds of quarts a week.
"People from the area always come and buy from our farm," Carr said of the farmer's market she and her husband own. "We supply good quality, and the strawberries are fresh and sweet."
Carr's market is unique because no chemicals or spray are used - and each handpicked strawberry is juicy.
"I think the strawberries are juicier this year than ever before because of the rain," she said.
Swayze said a portion of the profits will go towards the Youngstown Free Library and the Ransomville Food Bank.
In addition to the scrumptious strawberry shortcake that will be served with homemade biscuits and real whipped cream, the festival also offers guests grilled foods. The grilled foods are being donated by John Roberts, owner of Apple Granny in Lewiston and a member of the church. He said the following foods will be served: Italian sausage, hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and baked beans. He has been supplying food for the festival for more than 15 years.
"It's my contribution for the church," said Roberts.
While eating, guests can enjoy the Lockport Community Band at 2 p.m. The band will perform patriotic songs to honor veterans and support those currently serving overseas.
Swayze anticipates a good turnout this year.
"People come despite the weather conditions," she said. "It rained a few years ago, but that did not seem to make a difference."
The festival will be held at St. John's Episcopal Church, 110 Chestnut St., Youngstown. For more information, call 745-3369 or visit www.stjohnsyoungstown.org.