The 40th Annual Strawberries ‘N Arts Festival happened today from 10am-4pm in Westford! If you’ve never gone, it is such a wonderful New England event.
In the early morning hours 90+ artisan vendors are beginning to set up their tents to share their wares, volunteers are arriving as well as all of the beautiful strawberries.
After a thorough washing and hulling of every berry by 30 volunteers, the berries head to the antique berry masher that has been used since the very beginning of the festival. The youngest volunteers take turns cranking the masher, a fun tradition! There is a “whipped cream team” that whips the 20+ gallons of whipped cream for the 32 full sheets of freshly baked shortcake.
Meanwhile, the grills are heating up outside, the bake table is filling up with goodies, a plant table with clippings and seedlings, and a raffle table as well. The raffle items are generously donated by the many vendors on the common. Our own Springdell Farm donated a raffle basket featuring, of course, strawberries!
By 12:20 there is a line snaking around the common waiting for the famous strawberry shortcake to begin at 12:30. It is to be expected in this long standing tradition, to enjoy a heaping portion of this lovingly prepared summer splendor and a cup of lemonade.
Over 90 artisan booths fill the Westford Town Common. Over 50 musicians share their talent with us. Over 150 volunteers bring the event to life. Over 1300+ servings of strawberry shortcake are sold. Over 3000 people attend.
But who may you ask is the chair of all of this? Why it’s Jessica Anderson, my fellow blogger. She really is an amazing woman who offers so much of her time to her community. She does a fantastic job organizing such a huge event and props need to be given here for another job well done. The over 3000 people who attended thank you for a spectacular day. Love you Jess!
It just wouldn’t be right not to post a quick strawberry recipe with you today given the circumstances. So tonight after a fun day at the festival I sit on the back deck enjoying a strawberry Aqua fresca….and you can too! Quick and refreshing.
Wash and remove the stems on 2 cups of strawberries from your Springdell share.
Add a splash of sweetener, I used agave nectar. I must say that the berries are so sweet that you can totally skip the sweetener step if you want to. Then add a cup of water and blend away. If you have a standard blender I would put the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove any of the seeds.
Pour the mixture into a container of choice and add to that three cups of seltzer, lemon lime soda etc. (this may change your sweeteners in the above section). I found a strawberry watermelon seltzer that I thought would work quite nicely.
You will get quite a bit of fizz when you combine the two so watch out! When it settles down pour it into your cups with some ice.
All there is left to do is enjoy! Hey Jess, have Glen make one of these for you tonight, you deserve it!