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The 108th Anniversary of the Strawberry Festival of Canadice NY

108 Years of Strawberries in Canadice

By Unknown Author - The Daily Messenger

23 June 1987

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The Canadice United Methodist Church will be the site of the 108th annual strawberry festival Saturday. Shown in this picture are members Amy Powell Hopkins (left) and Mina Preston Johnson. Click the image to enlarge.

Canadice - After 107 years you would think members of the Canadice Methodist Church would be weary of staging their annual strawberry festival. They aren’t.

The 108th version of the festival will be held Saturday with serving from ? to 7 p.m. Featured at the indoor festival is a dinner with a menu that shows; ham, potato salad, baked beans, vegetable salads, homemade rolls, pickles, beverages and strawberries and cake.

The fees are $5 for adults and $2.50 for children; preschoolers are fed for free.

Another attraction is a bake sale featuring desserts and other baked goods.

Mrs. Marjorie Simons, County Road 37, has been a member of the church for 58 years and has been working on the annual festival since 1946.

When the festival date draws near, she journeys to Phelps to purchase 400 quarts of strawberries. In addition to the berries that are served with cream for the dinner dessert, berries are available for purchase at the bake sale.

“We don’t make any money selling them. They (the customers) pay what we pay. It’s just more of a service for the people attending the festival,” Mrs. Simons said.

Those people attracted to the festival usually number around 400, although 20 years ago a record 500 dug into strawberries at the church.

“Between 150 and 200 come between 2 and 3 p.m. and the rest all seem to come at 5 p.m. It’s like old home week. People sit around and talk and visit,” she said.

Since the festival was established, only once was the event cancelled. In 1917 a late frost killed the berries. Those were the days when “local” berries were used.

Proceeds from the festival are used for various church projects. One year the church was built up and a basement installed. New carpeting and a new organ have also been purchased with the money earnings.

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The new basement to the Canadice Methodist Church was not completed when the ladies of the Church sponsored the 88th Annual Strawberry Festival in 1967. Building paper was stapled to the ceiling to keep dirt out of the food, temporary extension cords were strung across the rafters to provide illumination from bare bulbs, and a tank truck supplied water for dishwashing. Despite difficulties the festival was a success. This year the Church will hold its 108th festival on June 27 under more stable conditions. Click the image to enlarge.

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Enjoying the 1967 Canadice Methodist Church Strawberry Festival were at far left, Will Preston talking to Laurie and Guthrie Stone. To Guthrie’s right, with back to camera, is Doris Stone talking to Robert McDonalds. Click the image to enlarge.

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