This past Saturday, Luke and I decided to go for a drive to a little town called Owego NY for their 33rd Annual Strawberry Festival. We took a scenic northern route to get there driving through small towns and farmland. Once we arrived downtown we struggled to find any form of parking and decided finally to support the local boy scouts for $5 parking. Eager to stretch our legs and explore, we got out and began walking the blocked off streets of downtown Owego.
Looking around we saw the typical festival food everything dipped, fried, and covered in powdered sugar or syrup possible. There were also BBQ, Gyro, Philly Cheesesteak, Italian sausage, and hamburger and french fry trucks parked all along the sidewalks. Among the many vendors we saw local artists paintings and pottery, antiques, tupperware, tie dyed outfits for all ages, face painting, sunglasses stands, jewelry, toys all similar to the many flee markets I’m used to in SoCal.
Turning a corner, we ran into one of the Saturday events: fireman’s hose race. Two teams at a time compete to set up the hose line, filling it with water, and be the first team to knock down the sign at the end of the raceway with their steady stream of water. We watched one race and at the end in celebration the winning team turned the hose to the sky spraying the crowd with water.
Since this was a strawberry festival, there were plenty of strawberry flavored novelties: lemonade, icees, strawberry flavored kettle corn, smoothies, shortcake and more. Luke and I decided to pick up a strawberry daiquiri from Elk’s Lodge to share as we walked around.
Following a path around one of the three music stages we found the waterfront to the Susquehanna river. Walking along the path following the river, we watched cars crossing over the river on the bridge leading into old town. Passing a children’s play area including bounce houses, we found a local jam and butter stand and bought some strawberry rhubarb butter.
Walking further down the street we found the wine tasting tent. We only bought one ticket: $5 for 10 tastes to share since there were only a few vendors. Disappointed by most of the wineries, Luke headed to the brewery. Eager to try their beers Luke sampled them all. The result was good and bad new. Bad news for the brewery he wasn’t impressed by. Good news? He thought his first homemade brew was actually better than what he tasted and has more faith in his ability to make some great homemade beer!!
After a little more walking around, we decided to stop to eat. Craving mexican we decided to stop into their local mexican restaurant with seating over looking the river. Luke ordered a build your own burrito and I did the same but in a bowl form. Hungry we were happy when our food arrived. Sadly that happiness did not last long. Barely into my meal I found the chicken in my burrito bowl to be tasteless. Luke found his meat to be similarly bland. We left disappointed realizing we have still yet to have found a decent Mexican restaurant any better than Taco Bell here on the East Coast.
As we left the festival we found another local vendor for honey. Luke has been wanting to get local honey for awhile, hoping it will help us adjust to the pollen and allergens in the area. Knowing that I use quite a bit of honey and wanting to support a local business we got the 2lb. container and a few honey sticks for the road.
The Strawberry Festival had it’s ups and downs. Another down moment was that we saw only one actual strawberry stand out of the hundreds of vendors, selling small containers of strawberries for 4.50 each!!!! Still it was a worth while to explore a thriving small downtown area only an hour from home. Plus we found a new river to explore and hopefully kayak on.
How was your weekend?