Annual Strawberry Festival returns June 22


Alex Dougherty

Strawberry shortcake is a festival favorite

Emma Dougherty, Contributor

Every year since 1946, Hollis has hosted the Strawberry Festival. It began when a group of kids from the Hollis Church School Band sponsored the festival to collect money so that they could buy music and instruments. The current Hollis Town Band and Hollis Women’s Club co-sponsor the much-anticipated event.

This year’s festival will be held Sunday, June 22, from 2-4 p.m. at the Hollis Town Common. If you like strawberries with ice cream, shortcakes or rhubarb, this is definitely the place to be. All of the fresh strawberries are picked locally from Lull Farm and Brookdale Fruit Farm. Also, the strawberry and vanilla ice cream is purchased from Doc Davis on Hollis St. in Pepperell. The main sponsors for this year’s Strawberry Festival are Dream Kitchens, Hollis Landscaping Materials, Inc. and Landmark Dental. These sponsors, as well as quite a few more, have made generous donations to fund the supplies for the festival.

Although the event includes various strawberry-packed delights, they are not the only part of the festival that warrants attention: the Hollis Town Band provides entertainment every year with specially-selected pieces, as well as a with a few classics such as the Star-Spangled Banner and the Hollis Town Band March. Local artists and peddlers set up booths featuring crafts and food.

“We have tried to make it to the festival every year since we moved to town!  I particularly like the berries on top of ice cream.  The crisp was a wonderful addition last year and a great new way to showcase our town’s fruit crops! Last year was the first year I helped the woman’s club, baking rhubarb crisp,” Amy Watson, a Hollis resident and Woman’s Club member, said.

The strawberry rhubarb, introduced last year by Woman’s Club Member Lynne Dougherty, sold out quickly, so this year the club is baking twice as many pans.

“We can always use more volunteers,” Lori Dwyer, this year’s chairwoman of the festival, said. “We especially need more volunteers for hulling on Friday, June 20, at 9 a.m. at the Hollis Congregational Church Hardy Hall.”

The festival is a great way to become more involved in the community’s roots. If it rains, the festival will be shifted to the Hollis Brookline Middle School instead of outside the Hollis Congregational Church. Admission is free and there are plenty of strawberry goodies to go around.