Saturday, June 10, 2000

Strawberries worthy of two festivals

Butler, Warren events hail fruit

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer Contributor

        What edible rose is ripe and ready for the eating at this time of year?

        The answer to that riddle can be found this weekend in Butler County during Shandon's 75th Old Fashioned Strawberry Festival, and in Warren County at Hidden Valley Fruit Farm's Strawberry Extravaganza.

        This rose by another name adapts itself to an amazing variety of recipes, as Hidden Valley's Lisa Shetterly knows. During its two-day event, the farm offers everything from traditional strawberry shortcake and strawberry sundaes to strawberry licorice.

        “If it's got strawberries in it, we'll make it,” she said.

        Ms. Shetterly said Hidden Valley Fruit Farm's event isn't a festival.

        “It's more of a celebration of strawberries,“ she said, adding that visitors can pick their fill of the heart-shaped fruit and sample the farm's strawberry cuisine.

        There also will be a petting zoo for children.

        The Hidden Valley event is 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Sunday at 5474 N. Ohio 48, Lebanon. Information: 932-1869.

        Strawberries are also celebrated in Shandon, where today, members of Shandon Congregational Church will offer a picnic plate lunch from 3 to 7 p.m., with fresh strawberries, homemade strawberry shortcake and ice cream at the village's Community House, three miles west of Ross on Ohio 126.

        The festival dates to the mid-1920s, when Shandon was a community of small farms, said local historian John Francis.

        “Most everyone had a strawberry patch, and they decided to start the strawberry suppers or festivals. Really, I think, the purpose was to support the first church building. The money has always gone for that.”

        Information on the Shandon festival: 738-4677.


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