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by Terri Hogan
Senior Staff Writer
Sandy Spring Museum’s 38th annual Strawberry Festival will celebrate the best of small-town living and offer two days of local flavor the first weekend of June.
“You can get strawberry shortcake anywhere,” Allison Weiss, museum executive director, said, “but where else will you run into old friends and neighbors? Where can people of different generations find entertainment at the same event? And what else marks the beginning of summer the way the annual Strawberry Festival does?”
The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 1 and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 2 at the museum, 17901 Bentley Road.
“When I started as director of Sandy Spring Museum, I was surprised by the popularity of the Strawberry Festival,” Weiss said. “Now that I’ve seen it in action for so many years, I see that it’s part of the fabric of the community.
The first Strawberry Festival was held in June 1982 at the old Montgomery General Hospital grounds as a fundraiser for the museum. It was staffed completely by volunteers and featured many of the same activities as today.
Although the event has moved to the museum grounds and has expanded to two full days, the event remains a hometown tradition. And while it is the museum’s biggest fundraiser of the year, organizers say it is a gift to the community – a way for small, local businesses to meet their neighbors, for community residents to discover all that Sandy Spring has to offer, and for local craftspeople to sell their unique products.
Many festival-goers remember attending as children and now they are returning with their own children and grandchildren.
As always, fresh strawberries will be the main attraction, highlighted by the famous strawberry shortcake. A wide variety of offerings will be provided by local food trucks.
The popular beer and wine garden will also return, featuring locally-crafted beverages, and will expand to the entire festival grounds.
The museum’s Garden Club will host a plant sale, and dozens of local crafters and vendors will offer a wide variety of unique items.
This year, the entertainment lineup will represent the area’s multicultural diversity, featuring the McMillan-Dunn Pipe Band, Olney Concert Band, Olney Jazz Combo, Akira and Node 18, La Colomborpercutiva, Hollow Prophets, The Fire Hazards, Craig Gildner Trio, The Dave Chappell Band and Burt the Dirt.
Children’s activities include a climbing wall, moonbounces, carnival games, pony rides, a petting zoo and more.
Parking will be available at Sherwood High School.
Admission is $3 each, or $10 for a family of up to six people. Wristbands for unlimited children’s activities and a Family Fun Pack are also available.
For more information, to view the full entertainment and vendor lineup, or to purchase tickets, go to www.sandyspringmuseum.org/strawberryfestival/.
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