RIDGWAY--The predicted storms that were set to hit the area blew by Elk County without a drop hitting Ridgway on Friday afternoon, and how could they not? The Elk County Historical Society's Annual Strawberry Festival has been on the calendar for months, and nothing stops the determined volunteers from ringing in the summer each year in the "Lily of the Valley." 
 
Taking place once again in the parking lot of the St. Leo Magnus Parish and the attached park, hundreds came out to support the Historical Society and its mission to preserve Elk County History for current and future generations. This annual fundraiser helps to support the Florence Himes Robinson Museum on Center Street in Ridgway to Decker's Chapel in St. Marys, and the Restored Victorian Home on Center Street; over 10,000 items are in the Society's collection for visitors and locals to appreciate year-round.
 
Powered by pure volunteer labor and the generous donations of berries from Elk County Foods and the shortcakes from Katering By Kate, all of Ridgway came out for the event, with 50/50, basket raffle, hot dogs, and hamburgers to make sure you had something to eat besides dessert!
 
Friends and neighbors, who missed most of the last summer as events and festivals were canceled, sat and relaxed in the warm, almost hot, summer sun with the light breeze in the air that ensured that no thunderstorm threatened this cherished event. In addition to the raffles and fundraiser, The Ridgway Heritage Council has copies of its summer fundraising book on the Hyde-Murphy Company for sale. Local Author Kathy Myers was also on hand to autograph copies of her book Historic Tales of the Pennsylvania Wilds. Through a series of richly compelling narratives, Myers reveals the early history of the Pennsylvania Wilds, from first settlements to massacres and into the Revolutionary war. 
 
Besides all dessert itself, the annual "start of summer" in Ridgway was a great gage for other local groups who are planning events the next few months after a year-long pause for most organizations. If the Strawberry Festival is an accurate measure, it's going to be a great and very busy Summer. 

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