Strawberry Festival nears

The Elk County Historical Society will once again be hosting their Annual Strawberry Festival this Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at 109 Center St. in Ridgway.According to Society Director Mary Kalinowski, last year's festival was such a success the Historical Society sold out of strawberries before the close of the event.This year an additional 20 quarts of strawberries from Valley Farm Markets of Weedville has been ordered to ensure all patrons enjoy a jumbo-size strawberry shortcake."We have ordered more strawberries this year because every year we run out," Kalinowski said. "This year I have ordered even more so get here early to make sure you get your strawberry shortcake and your ice cream."Each dessert includes a biscuit, made fresh by Joey's Bakery the day of the festival, topped with ice cream, a fresh strawberry sauce and whipped cream."We get our biscuits fresh from Joey's Bakery," Kalinowski said. "We pick them up Friday morning so they are nice and fresh. "On Thursday we go and pick up the strawberries fresh and bring them to the Society and have a strawberry party with the volunteers and board members to give us a chance to clean all of the strawberries and prepare them for the next day." Live music will be performed by Gabby Butterfuss, accompanied by Ross Bish.A large variety of activities and games are planned for the children including bouncy balls, chalk art, hopscotch, sand art and face painting."We will also have goodie bags and balloons for the kids," Kalinowski said. "There will be a lot for the kids to do."The festival originated in the basement of the Presbyterian Church and began gaining popularity in the summer of 2007 when Kalinowski took over the role as director and moved the event outdoors.This year the festival is expected to host in excess of 200 patrons.Also, the Alyce Bowers Memorial Garden will be unveiled during the event."Alyce [Bowers] planted flowers from the seed in little cups and would donate all of the flowers to the Historical Society to plant in front of the house, around the sign and she would also donate flowers around town," Kalinowski said. "We decided to take the money that was given in the memorial for her and all of that money will go to the Alyce Bowers Memorial Garden Fund and every year we will have a memorial garden out front and in front of the sign we are going to have a plaque made with her name on it for the garden. We will continue to take donations for the fund so that we can keep it going for years to come."The major sponsors of the event are: The Ridgway Record, The Royal Inn and the Fraternal Order of Eagles 469."It was wonderful this year that we have three major sponsors, that is the most we have had since we started this in 2007," Kalinowski said. Vendors are still being accepted. Log on to to fill out a registration form.For more information contact Society Director Mary Kalinowski at 814-776-1032 or by email at