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Church Strawberry Festival's Blessed with Sunshine

A rainy week let up, yielding to a bright sun Saturday when Monroe Congregational Church's annual Strawberry Festival was held on the Town Green.

Peter and Melissa Brilvitch of Shelton ate strawberry shortcake in the church dining room with their four-year-old daughter, Elaina.

"We've been coming the last 15 years and we love it - wouldn't miss it," Melissa said. "Elaina goes to the Monroe Early Learning Center and when she sees the strawberry signs she's so excited. Then the countdown to the Strawberry Festival begins."

Volunteers busily made desserts in the kitchen, while other helpers prepared plates of shortcakes with generous scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Children played games on the church grounds and took turns throwing balls at the target for the dunk tank. The band Hoe performed live music.

Aside from a day of eating, entertainment and games, the Strawberry Festival is known for its vendors. Homemade jewelry, artwork, clothes and kettle corn are sold from tents set up on the green. And the Webb Mountain Discovery Zone also had a tent.

Robin Amani of Stratford looked for a watch at one tent. She said she and her fiancé, Paul Baker, come to the festival every year.

"I buy earrings, have kettle corn and a burger, and then we hit the strawberry shortcake," Amani said.

Amani, who is a nurse, said she was "bummed out" when she was scheduled to work Saturday, but happy when she was later given the day off. Now she can continue her annual routine.

"We already had our burgers," Amani said.

Baker added, "But we didn't have our strawberry shortcake yet."

Did you miss the festival Saturday? Located at the corner of Church Street and Route 111, the Strawberry Festival will also be held from noon to 5 p.m. this Sunday.

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