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| Wednesday, June 23, 2010 | FeasT

cover story

FEAST | WEdnESdAy, JunE 23, 2010 |


Berries Aplenty

61st Hollis Strawberry Festival will be in full swing despite early season If YOu GO 61st Hollis Strawberry festival WHERE: Hollis Commons. WHEN: 2-4 p.m. Sunday, June 27.


HOLLIS – With the earliest strawberry season New Hampshire has ever seen, members of the Hollis Woman’s Club grew nervous that their 61st Hollis Strawberry Festival and Band Concert wouldn’t be possible. Despite the early crop, the berries have held out and there will be ample amounts to be served during the annual festival held the last weekend in June. And as usual, the strawberries won’t have to travel far. They come from Brookdale Fruit Farm and Lull Farm, both in Hollis. The club likes to buy local, and both farms like to help out by selling their strawberries at wholesale price. The desserts are the only thing that people have to pay for at the festival. Sales from the strawberry shortcake, strawberry sundaes and ice cream go back to the club. This festival will be from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, June 27, on the Hollis Common. There will be a play area for kids with games and activities, which is an addition to the festival. Returning will be an artisans area where local artists can show and sell their work. Another option if people are feeling artsy is to get their face painted or stop by and get a

Strawberry desserts that will be featured at the festival this Sunday include strawberry shortcake, sundaes and ice cream.

The Hollis Woman’s Club buys the berries for the Strawberry Festival locally from Brookdale Fruit Farm and Lull Farm in Hollis. temporary tattoo. On average, about 1,200-1,500 people attend the festival, making it the biggest and most

profitable event the club puts on, said Jane Taylor, club president and co-chair of the festival.

In Taylor’s book, the more people who show up, the better, because it means more money for the club.

On the other hand, it also means more work, because more volunteers are needed to serve the strawberry-filled delights and clean up

afterward. Each year, they get 85-100 volunteers, with about half of them serving the desserts. Taylor has tried to make minor changes, but for the most part keeps the blueprint unchanged from the first 60 festivals. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Taylor said. And no strawberry festival would be complete without the Hollis Town Band, which is the oldest continuous band in the state, President Rex Atwood said. The band plays familiar music and classics, but the highlight is always finding out who has the lucky ticket and gets to lead the band when it plays “Stars and Stripes Forever.” “It is a piece of Americana that is not growing, but we continue to try to make this happen,” Atwood said. Atwood said the money the band gets from the event goes to the young members who want to pursue their drive towards music in

further schooling and summer programs. The money the Woman’s Club raises goes to scholarships, community activities and to help out school programs, club member Susan Benz said. Two scholarships are awarded each year – one for a student going to a four-year school and one for a student attending a two-year school. Krissy Wuerdeman will experience her first festival this year. She also is one of the cochairs for the event. She’s new to the town, and decided it would be a good idea to get involved with the community, so she joined the Woman’s Club. “I looked for a way to get into the community, and it has been a great experience,” Wuerdeman said. “It is a great way to kick off and introduce the summer.” Gregory Meighan can be reached at 594-5833 or gmeighan@


In Taylor’s book, the more people who show up, the better, because it means more money for the club. profitable event the club puts on, said...