Mattituck Strawberry Festival launches new talent show

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MATTITUCK, NY — A beloved annual tradition on the North Fork, the Mattituck Lions Club’s 67th Annual Strawberry Festival, is back this year — and features an all-new talent show to add to the festivities.

According to Rob Nine, former president of the Mattituck Lions Club, there is currently an open call for the talent show. The preliminary round of the competition will take place on Sunday, June 5 at the North Fork Community Theater, located at 12700 Sound Avenue in Mattituck. The finalists will perform on Thursday, June 16 at the Strawberry Festival.

“All talent is welcome! Singing, dancing, instrumental, acting – if you have talent, let’s see it,” organizers said.

The contest is open to all ages and residents of Riverhead, Southold and Shelter Island; groups and solos are also invited to participate. For the rules in English, click here, and in Spanish, click here.

“We planned to do it in 2020, but had to cancel,” due to the pandemic, Nine said. “The club was looking for an event to bring more of a country fair feel to the festival and to get more community involvement.”

Also back this year is the beloved Shelling Night, which brings generations of local residents together in tents to prepare strawberries; the shelling evening will take place on Wednesday, June 15th.

“The strawberry shortcake is back!” Nine said.

Mike O’Donnell is the chairman of the festival this year, he added.

This year’s festival kicks off on Wednesday, June 15, opening at 5 p.m. and running until 10 p.m. Free entry for all.

Thursday, June 16, hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Adults and children 5 years and older cost $5; children under 5 are free.

Hours for Friday, June 17 are from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., with tickets for adults and children 5 and over $10 and under 5 free. On Saturday, June 18, the party starts at 11 a.m. and lasts until 11 p.m. Adults and children over 5 are $10. Sunday hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with tickets for adults and children ages 5 and up, $10. Fathers are free with one paid child.

For prices, discounts and the entertainment program, click on the Festival at a glance link.

The event features chocolate-dipped strawberries, live music, arts and crafts vendors, midway rides and games, and fireworks on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Also on Saturday, the cherished annual Strawberry Queen Coronation takes place.

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