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Thursday, October 6, 2022
Strawberry Festival brings life, tradition back to NOTL
The NOTL Ukesters have the crowd dancing. Richard Harley
Edmond Clark, Jesse Dwyre and Barbara Worthy pick up some books, strawberries and jam at the festival. Richard Harley
Guests peruse the book sale Richard Harley
Landon Archibald turns into a cat after his face paint job. Richard Harley

The Niagara-on-the-Lake Strawberry Festival returned on Saturday, after a two-year COVID hiatus.

Across the grounds at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, people of all ages were out getting a taste of the season’s first major fruit harvest in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

There were the traditional strawberry crepes and shortcake, strawberries for sale by the quart and strawberry jams made by members of the church.

Other activities included games for kids, a book sale and bake sale, a silent auction and live entertainment by the NOTL Ukesters.

Rosemary Vysohlyd, office administrator for the church, was inside helping to run the silent auction. She said there was a “steady flow all day.”

“We’re quite happy. It’s a lot smaller this year than it has been in previous years due to COVID, of course, and restrictions and all that, but we’re very happy and it’s a beautiful day for it.”

The silent auction was reduced in size a bit, to keep traffic flowing more smoothly through the building.

It was Vysohlyd’s first Strawberry Festival, as she only joined the church in September, having moved to NOTL five years ago.

The whole congregation – and the people visiting the festival – were glad to see its return,  she said.

“People are so happy to have it back — we’re getting that, ‘We’re so glad you’re back,’ and I think that’s the feeling throughout the day.”

While the festival is immensely popular for locals, she was getting calls for the last two months from people in Toronto and other areas asking if the festival would be on this year.