Strawberries have been a part of American culture for centuries and are beloved by many. There is nothing quite like picking your own ripe strawberries from a farm and enjoying the sweet taste of freshness. If you’re in the Long Island area of New York, you’re in luck – the area is home to some of the most popular strawberry festivals in the US. These festivals offer a great opportunity to celebrate the iconic fruit and sample some of the finest strawberries in the country. The festivals also feature live music, craft vendors, and family-friendly activities, making them a great place to spend a day with friends and family. So if you’re in Long Island and want to experience the flavor of strawberries, make sure to check out one of these festivals!
The 67th Annual Mattituck Lions Club Strawberry Festival is a spectacular event that takes place in the North Fork of Long Island, New York. The festival takes place on Father’s Day weekend, June 14-18 2023 from Wednesday to Sunday, at the Mattituck fairgrounds, where attendees can enjoy a delightful mix of entertainment, food, and activities. Attendees will be able to indulge in strawberry shortcake, chocolate covered strawberries, and other strawberry-themed dishes. In the past there is a variety of music acts, a strawberry queen coronation, and a world strawberry shortcake eating contest sponsored by Major League Eating will also be available.
Admission prices range from free to $10 for adults depending on the day, and tickets for rides must be purchased in-person. The festival also hosts the crowning of the Strawberry Queen, a talent show, and the World Strawberry Shortcake Eating Championship. The event is expected to attract thousands of people each year and is supported by volunteers and corporate sponsors.
History of this event
The Mattituck Lions Club Strawberry Festival originated in 1955 and has since become a cherished tradition that brings together the community. From its humble beginnings, the festival has expanded to include a wide array of attractions and activities, such as a craft show, carnival, international food court, and live entertainment. The festival not only provides enjoyment for attendees but also serves as a platform to raise funds for charity. With the generous support of volunteers, sponsors, local government departments, vendors, media, and the community, the festival has been able to make a positive impact on the North Fork economy and donate substantial amounts to various charitable organizations.
What sets the Mattituck Lions Club Strawberry Festival apart is its commitment to giving back. Over the years, the festival has continuously expanded its reach and generosity. Proceeds from the festival benefit more than 30 organizations, in addition to individuals in need. This exemplifies the festival’s mission to serve the community and assist those facing challenges. The festival’s success can be attributed not only to the dedication of the Lions Club members but also to the unwavering support of countless volunteers, sponsors, and attendees who come together to make a difference.
As the festival has grown, it has also become an economic driver for the North Fork region. The influx of visitors and the festival’s various offerings contribute to the local economy, supporting businesses and creating opportunities for vendors and entertainment professionals. The festival’s positive impact extends beyond its charitable endeavors, playing a vital role in fostering a vibrant and thriving community. From its early years to the present, the Mattituck Lions Club Strawberry Festival has left an indelible mark on the community, bringing joy, support, and economic growth to the North Fork.
Discovering the Basics: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners
Held in the middle of June, this event celebrates the peak of the North Fork strawberry harvest with a weekend of fun and meaningful purpose. The ticket price and opening hours vary depends on the day.
The festival is open from
- 5pm-10pm on Jun 14th (Wed) (free admission )
- 5pm-10pm on Jun 15th (Thu) ($5 for adults and children over 5)
- 5pm-11pm on Jun 16th (Fri) ($10 for adults and children over 5)
- 11am-11pm on Jun 17th (Sat)($10 for adults and children over 5)
- 11am-5pm on Jun 18th (Sun) (($10 for adults and children over 5 but Fathers are free when accompanied by a paid child)
The festival features a variety of activities including a talent show, carnival rides, a midway, live music, international food court, arts and crafts vendors, strawberry shortcake, and chocolate covered strawberries. The festival also includes a World Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest, and the crowning of the Strawberry Queen. Back then in 2022, there are also fireworks shows every evening from Thursday to Saturday. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the show!
Tickets for rides must be purchased in-person. All purchases are final and refunds are not available. No pets, backpacks, or alcohol are permitted on the fairground for the safety of all attendees. Volunteers are welcome and needed for the event, so please reach out to the Mattituck Lions Club for more information.
Best Time to Visit, Parking & Transportation
If you’re looking for the best time to visit, consider coming on Wednesday for free admission.
If you cannot make it on Wednesday, to avoid the crowds, we will recommend you to come on Thursday to enjoy a discounted ticket of $5 (vs $10 after Thursday). In 2022, the fireworks shows on Thursday to Saturday nights make for a great evening out – this year, the details activities schedule has not been announced.
For those attending the festival, parking is available at the festival site off of Route 48 with handicap parking available. You can consider to take train, Taxi or Hampton Jitney complimentary to get to the festival site.
Best Food in the Mattituck Strawberry Festival
Delicious food awaits you at the Mattituck Strawberry Festival. From the world-famous strawberries dipped in chocolate to the traditional strawberry shortcake, there’s something to please everyone’s palate. Visit the International Food Court for a variety of delicious cuisine from around the world.
The carnival rides also offer indulgent treats such as funnel cakes and other classic fair foods. Try something different and experience the flavors of the festival by sampling the alcohol-free strawberry daiquiris. Don’t forget to grab a bag of fresh local strawberries too! Whatever your food preference, you’ll find something to satisfy your hunger at the Mattituck Strawberry Festival!
Performance & Activities
Festival attendees can enjoy a variety of activities, including a talent show, art and craft vendors, strawberry shortcake, chocolate-dipped strawberries, live music (in 2022 there is also firework available from Thursday to Saturday! There is no information right now as in whether there will be firework!). Plus, there’s a World Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest, sponsored by Major League Eating, and a new Strawberry Queen will be crowned (you can apply for the Strawberry Queen contest in 2023 here). Midway ridesand a food court offering international cuisine are also available.
This year there will also be Hulling Night on the first day of the Festival! It is a cherished tradition that unites the community. Families and friends come together under a large tent to remove the hulls from berries, which will be used for the upcoming weekend’s celebrations.
There will also be talent show try-outs opening to the residents residing in the Towns of Southold, Riverhead and Shelter Island and will take place on Thursday, June 15 from 10am-1pm at the North Fork Community Theater in Mattituck. In 2022, they had a mix of singing, dancing, comedy, ukuleles and more. You can do the registration here to join the performance in 2023! The registration is open till June 2nd, 2023.
The Festival is an alcohol-free event. Rain or shine, all purchases are final with no refunds. Come join us for a great time and help support our local community!
Three Things you should know before you go!
Mattituck Strawberry Festival is Long Island’s original and largest strawberry festival and charity fundraiser hosted by the Mattituck Lions Club. The 2023 Festival is scheduled for June 14-18, 2023 so mark your calendars for this special event.
It will be held at the Strawberry Field, located at 1105 North Rd, Mattituck, NY, please make sure you check the parking information before you go.
Tickets are available and cost $5 for adults and children 5 years and over on Thursday, $10 for adults and children 5 years and over on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Children under 5 years old are free. Also, there is no admission fee on Wednesday and Father’s Day is free for Fathers with a paid child.
For more information and updates, visitors can check out the official website at www.mattituckstrawberryfestival.org.