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    'More than just a sweet treat': Strawberry Days and Festivals happening on the Cape

    By Frankie Rowley, Cape Cod Times,

    2024-06-12

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    Summer is all about strawberries (and shortcake) as the Cape's strawberry season is in full swing and strawberry days and festivals are filling the calendar.

    Up and down the Cape, museums, historical societies and churches are carrying on long-standing traditions and carving out time for families, friends and neighbors to get together for a sunny day in June.

    In Sandwich, Thornton Burgess Green Briar Nature Center and Jam Kitchen hosts its annual Strawberry Day on June 15, inviting guests to take a peek at the jam-making process, celebrate the literary icon’s 150th birthday and stroll in the gardens on a sunny summer’s day.

    “People come because they like that nostalgic feeling of days gone by,” Joan DiPersio, public relations coordinator for the Thornton Burgess Society, said.

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    While Strawberry Day has been a yearly staple since 1984, this year’s event coincides with year-round programming the Thornton Burgess Society has been throwing to celebrate Burgess’s 150th birthday. For DiPersio, Burgess’s lasting influence over society pays testament to his importance across the generations.

    “He was a renowned conservationist as well as a storyteller,” she said. “We're carrying that tradition on and trying to make it even more popular with people today.”

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    Dessert is $8 per person and is available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Green Briar is located at 6 Discovery Hill Road in East Sandwich. For more information about Strawberry Day at the Thornton Burgess Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen, visit www.thorntonburgess.org/ .

    Saint Barnabas’s Church hosts annual fest

    Also on June 15, Saint Barnabas’s Episcopal Church in Falmouth is carrying on tradition as it hosts its annual Strawberry Festival.

    Feast on fresh-made strawberry shortcake piled high with fresh whipped cream while enjoying some summer shopping and sun-soaking on the church’s Great Lawn.

    “​​(It’s) something that brings the community (and) our church community together,” Susan Schmidt, a member of the church and volunteer at this year’s festival said. “People have memories of it from when they were kids, they bring their kids or their grandkids back to enjoy it."

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    For the kids, players of the Commodores baseball team will be at the festival hosting games and other activities.

    Saint Barnabas’s Strawberry Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 15 and is free to attend. Saint Barnabas’s Episcopal Church is located at 91 Main St. in Falmouth. For more information, visit www.stbfalmouth.org/ .

    Wellfleet Historical Society and Museum

    Enjoy a strawberry shortcake while sitting in the sunshine listening to live music from David Wright during the Wellfleet Historical Society’s annual Strawberry Festival on June 16.

    The festival runs from 2 to 4 p.m. on June 16 and is free to attend. Since the museum is still closed, the event will be held outside so organizers say to dress accordingly.

    The Wellfleet Historical Society and Museum is located at 266 Main St. in Wellfleet. For more information visit www.wellfleethistoricalsociety.org/ .

    Bourne highlights berry's historical value

    The Bourne Historical Society’s Strawberry Festival dates back to 1972 when Beth Bourne would take local 4-H students and Girl Scouts out strawberry picking.

    This year’s festival is on June 22 with guests invited to spend the afternoon enjoying shortcake, shopping and stepping into history.

    “There's all of those smells, sights and feels of a Cape Cod summer afternoon,” Mavis Robinson, president of the Bourne Historical Society, said. “We have a cookout so that people can buy a hotdog or grilled sausage… and we've traditionally had really good luck with the weather. They do track the weather… They would call a sunny June day, a ‘Beth Bourne Day.’”

    Plus, a large aim of the festival is to share the historical importance of the bright red berry to the Cape’s first settlers and Native communities.

    “​​We really are trying to tell the story of the people who were here first, the Wampanoag people, and (how) for both the pilgrims and the Wampanoag that strawberry was such an important and symbolic fruit,” Robinson said. “It's more than just a sweet treat…That berry showing up was the first little burst of vitamin C that was available after a long winter.”

    Admission to the Museums at Aptucxet is free on Strawberry Festival day and a craft fair will be running throughout the day. Along with munching on Strawberry Shortcakes, consider getting lunch from the grill but be sure to snag a shortcake before they sell out.

    The Bourne Historical Society's Strawberry Festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 22 at the Museums at Aptucxet (6 Aptucxet Road.)

    Frankie Rowley covers entertainment and things to do. Contact her at frowley@capecodonline.com .

    Thanks to our subscribers, who help make this coverage possible. If you are not a subscriber, please consider supporting quality local journalism with a Cape Cod Times subscription. Here are our subscription plans .

    This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: 'More than just a sweet treat': Strawberry Days and Festivals happening on the Cape

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