3 glorious days for strawberries

06/24/2010 12:00 AM |

Erin Fagan, 4, of East Patchogue enjoys a strawberry smoothie right down to the last drop.

Record numbers from across Long Island flooded Strawberry Fields in Mattituck this past weekend for the Mattituck Lions’ 56th annual Strawberry Festival. According to organizers, this year’s event exceeded every expectation, serving up three days of family fun and raising over $100,000 for local charities. Upwards of a million juicy strawberries were sold.

“This would probably be the most successful festival we’ve ever had,” said Lions president Joe Pufahl.

“It’s great that Mother Nature didn’t rain on our parade … because the people would suffer, the people in need,” said festival chairman Don Stirnweis. “Every dollar we make we give back to the community.”

In order to handle the crowds, Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead opened its parking lot for overflow. A shuttle bus transported people to the festival.

“As president, I couldn’t be more pleased with the graciousness of the community,” Mr. Pufahl said. “We get help from so many people and from so many companies. The outpouring of help has just been tremendous.”

Bridget Degnan