By ROBIN CAUDELL Press-Republican
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Get your palate primed for strawberries and more strawberries at the 32nd-annual Plattsburgh United Methodist Church Strawberry Festival from noon to 7 p.m. Thursday.
The church’s famous book sale opens at 11 a.m.
“It’s always been organized to benefit Neighbors in Need,” said Margaret Tallman, festival chair.
“We’ve always had that as a goal. It’s a church committee, and the original coordinator would have been Grace Allen. She pretty much has been a part of the festival ever since. She’s not able to actively participate, but she’s there with us.”
The festival’s buffet includes michigans, barbecue meatballs, baked beans, salads and beverage. The cost for the buffet, which includes dessert, is $8.50 per person, $5 for children under 10 and free for children under 6. Dessert only with beverage is $5.
“We celebrate the ‘first fruits’ of the season. It’s typically a homegrown festival. We (have picked) the strawberries at Rulfs Orchard in Peru ever since he started growing them and having (the you-pick option). That’s been 29 or 30 years. The first few years, the strawberries didn’t come from his orchard,” Tallman said.
The festival started as a picnic and has continued ever since.
“For dessert, we have strawberry shortcakes and strawberry sundaes or fresh bowls of strawberries, whatever people would like,” she said.
None of the Neighbors in Need proceeds go to the church.
“It all goes out to help others,” Tallman said. “Last year, we made $6,000. We have many different avenues to help people who are in need. Some of it helps to support the Interfaith Food Shelf, which is housed in our building. We have many, many different places that we try to help.”
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IF YOU GO
WHAT: 32nd-annual Plattsburgh United Methodist Church Strawberry Festival.
WHEN: Noon to 7 p.m. Thursday. Book sale opens at 11 a.m.
WHERE: The United Methodist Church of Plattsburgh, 127 Beekman St.
ADMISSION: $8.50 per person, $5 children under 10 and under 6 free. Dessert only (beverage included) $5. CONTACT: 563-2992