Weekender

Annual Lemont Strawberry Festival brings community together

The Lemont Strawberry Festival will take place from 3-7 p.m. on Saturday at the Village Green in Lemont.
The Lemont Strawberry Festival will take place from 3-7 p.m. on Saturday at the Village Green in Lemont. Centre Daily Times, file

Here’s a sign that summer is on its way: strawberries.

The 35th annual Lemont Strawberry Festival takes place from 3-7 p.m. on Saturday at the Village Green in Lemont.

The festival features various strawberry-based foods, fresh strawberries from Mark Kurtz Farm, lemonade and shakes in commemorative cups, homemade cakes, pony rides, live music and “speeder” rides. In addition, the Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania will be hosting art activities for children.

“It’s a family oriented celebration of community and strawberries, plus lots of other food and activities,” said Sue Smith, chairwoman of the Lemont Village Association. “We’ve been involved since 1981 when it started. Back then we picked the strawberries, hulled them, and it was held in the Spring Creek Presbyterian Church Community Hall (in) Lemont and outside.”

Smith says the festival is more about community than strawberries even though the fruit is the focal point.

“(It’s about) getting people together, meeting neighbors, having a good time, riding ponies, donating cakes and getting involved,” Smith said.

Live music begins at 3 p.m. with a performance from The Dystractions, playing a blend of reggae and classic rock. ESP takes the stage at 5 p.m. Additionally, there will be tours of the grain elevator.

“It was built in 1885 to collect and store grain from local farmers,” Smith said. “The grain was elevated to the third floor and went down chutes into railroad cars, which came into the adjoining building to be transported throughout Pa. The other part of the operation was the delivery of coal into the railroad building, which was dropped through the hoppers into bins below the railroad building into the coal sheds for people to pick up and deliver throughout central Pa.”

“Speeder” rides are available from the Bellefonte Historical Railroad Society.

For those not in the know, “speeders were the small railroad vehicles used to repair railroad tracks,” Smith said.

Pony rides will begin at 5 p.m.

Smith believes the festival will put a smile on anyone’s face.

“(It’s) fun, low key, inexpensive and delicious,” Smith said.

The event will take place rain or shine.

IF YOU GO

  • What: Lemont Strawberry Festival
  • When: 3-7 p.m. Saturday
  • Where: Village Green, 133 Mount Nittany Road, Lemont
  • Info: www.lemontvillage.org/strawberry-festival
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