Nationwide, the unofficial beginning of summer is Memorial Day weekend. In Greene County, the unofficial beginning of summer is the annual Strawberry Festival, always held the first weekend in June.

Stanardsville United Methodist Church will hold its 30th annual Strawberry Festival on Saturday, June 1.

Participants can begin the morning with the strawberry breakfast. Breakfast includes pancakes with strawberry topping, sausage and eggs. Price is $8, and $4 for children under 8. Breakfast will run from 7-11 a.m. or until sold out.

“The times I have worked the serving line, the people have been very impressed with the breakfast—especially the portions,” said Bob Holtzman, festival worker. “Thirty years ago, we started out with just a breakfast as a way to help pay for the fellowship hall (where the breakfast is now served). We will get 680 pounds of strawberries on that Thursday and volunteers will cap and prepare them and then Friday we make the pies and cakes.”

Community members can place orders for cakes, pies and jams ahead of the festival. Cakes are $20, pies are $8 and jams are $6. To pre-order, contact Bev Lamb at (434) 409-7588.

“We are taking pre-orders now for the cakes and pies,” said Lamb, who is one of the festival coordinators and is in charge of the food. “We are using a new recipe for the pie which makes it better than ever. People wanting the pies and cakes need to pre-order quickly because there is a limited supply.”

Pre-orders can be picked up at the church from 1-6 p.m. on Friday, May 31 and from 7 a.m.- 1 p.m. the day of the festival. If the pre-order is not picked up by 1 p.m. on festival Saturday, the item will be sold.

“It’s hard work preparing the strawberries and all the food,” Lamb said. “There are many people working on it so it is lots of fun, as well.”

Besides the strawberry culinary delights that are served all day, lunch will also be served from 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

For those who want to work off some of those delicious calories prior to consumption, the 5K Walk/Run is just the thing. Registration is 7-7:45 a.m. the day of the festival. Cost is $20 for those older than 18 and $15 for those 18 and under. Pre-registration can be done on the church’s website or by calling race coordinator Rhonda Houchens at (434) 960-5737. The race starts at 8 a.m.

“It is an in-and-out race with both beginning and end at the church,” said Houchens. “Participants will be divided into different categories. Ragged Mountain Running Shop will be providing prizes for the winners in each category.”

Bring a lawn chair and sit out under the big white tent to enjoy some entertainment. The lineup includes the Hi-Horse Cloggers, Pickin’ Daisies, Jason Burke, New Shades of Blue, Earlysville Bluegrass Boys and Country Babes and Cowboy Randy. Entertainment is free as are the display of vintage cars and children’s activities. Vendors, artisans and crafters will have booths displaying and selling their work.

The festival runs from 7 a.m.–3 p.m. All proceeds from the event go to benefit local missions and Stanardsville United Methodist Church. The church is at 25 Court Street in Stanardsville.

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