The Hippo


Jun 4, 2020








 72nd annual Hollis Strawberry Festival

When: Sunday, June 24, 2 to 4 p.m.
Where: Hollis Town Common, 7 Monument Square, Hollis (in the event of rain, the festival will be held inside the Hollis-Brookline Middle School, at 25 Main St. in Hollis)
Cost: Free admission and parking; strawberry treats are priced per item
More strawberry festivals this weekend
For more chances to enjoy some locally made strawberry desserts and treats, check out these other smaller festivals happening across the state.
• There will be a strawberry festival at Northwood Congregational Church, United Church of Christ (881 1st New Hampshire Turnpike) on Saturday, June 23, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The festival will feature a breakfast of sausage and pancakes topped with freshly picked strawberries, plus strawberry smoothies and homemade strawberry shortcakes with whipped cream or ice cream served all day long. A bake sale featuring creatively themed strawberry items will also be offered. Visit
• The First Congregational Church of Kingston (6 Church St.) will hold a strawberry festival on Saturday, June 23, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring turkey salad, fresh strawberries and strawberry shortcakes. Visit
• The New London Recreation Department will hold its fourth annual strawberry festival on Saturday, June 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Town Green on Main Street. The festival features local strawberries and strawberry shortcake for sale, plus craft and food vendors, live music and more. Visit
• Litchfield Presbyterian Church (259 Charles Bancroft Highway) will host its annual strawberry festival on Saturday, June 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The festival will feature fresh strawberry shortcake, a bake sale, sausage grinders, burgers and hot dogs, plus local vendors, children’s activities and an open house at the Litchfield Historical Society. Visit
• Join the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum (18 Highlawn Road, Warner) for a strawberry festival on Sunday, June 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., which will feature food samples of indigenous strawberry dishes, raffles, live Native American storytelling, and an herbal talk about strawberries and other summer plants. Visit

Summer of strawberries
Juicy berry the star of several festivals


 By Matt Ingersoll
The dawn of summer means peak strawberry picking season in New Hampshire, and several communities across the state are marking the occasion with festivals to come together and enjoy locally made desserts using the sweet fruit as the centerpiece.
One of the most well attended events is the Hollis Strawberry Festival; traditionally held on the last Sunday in June, the event will return for the 72nd year on Sunday, June 24, from 2 to 4 p.m. on the Hollis Town Common.
Publicity chairwoman Cathy Gast of the Hollis Woman’s Club, which has organized the festival for the past 30 years, said the event originally started as a small fundraiser for the Hollis Town Band. Today it attracts thousands of people who get to choose from several homemade strawberry desserts and enjoy live music, craft vendors, games, face-painting, demonstrations and more.
Planning for the festival begins in January each year, but most of the work is performed in the last few days leading up to the event.
“The actual food process is a three-day preparation,” Gast said. “We get our strawberries from Lull and Brookdale [Fruit] Farms, and then on the Friday before the festival, we wash the berries, slice them and sugar them. The shortcake is also prepared and taste-tested by the club.”
Festival-goers have the option to order a traditional strawberry shortcake with or without whipped cream or Dr. Davis vanilla ice cream (gluten-free shortcake is also available, according to Gast), a strawberry sundae, just a bowl or cone of ice cream, or just a bowl of strawberries with or without sugar. Prices will vary depending on what you want — each attendee receives an order form to fill out and take to the cashier.
“It’s a fine-tuned machine,” Gast said. “The tables are set up in kind of an assembly line, with runners that are putting strawberries on the shortcakes, then they gets passed down to the next person who might add whipped cream or ice cream.”
During the festival, the town common will feature appearances from photographers, jewelers and watercolor artists, and demonstrations from the FORCE 1073 robotics team at Hollis-Brookline High School. The Hollis Town Band will also perform several pieces in commemoration of its 75th anniversary, according to Gast. Proceeds from the festival benefit several charities supported by the Hollis Woman’s Club. 

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