Wadhams, Essex County
Fundraiser & Community Building Festival

Residents of the small Essex County community of Wadhams look forward each year to the annual strawberry festival sponsored by the United Church of Christ (formerly the First Congregational Church). Now in its 147th year, the event is held in the Parish Hall and on the grounds of the pretty white church, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Like box socials and ice cream socials of the past, it is both a fundraiser and a celebration of community, a mainstay of small towns. While there’s music and other festivities, strawberry shortcake from the new crop is the true highlight enjoyed by several hundred eager shortcake fans of all ages gather each year. Church members and friends, including recent transplants to Wadhams, work together to maintain this rite of early summer as an important local tradition.


Click and listen to the audio clips below to learn more about Wadhams Strawberry Festival:

Evelyn reads old newspaper articles and posters advertising the strawberry festival.

Evelyn and Barbara describe how event-goers prefer homemade baked goods to store-bought ones.

Evelyn describes how the festival organizers picked their strawberries for the event.

  • Award Inherited Traditions
  • Award Year 2013
  • Location Wadhams, NY (Essex County, Champlain Valley)
  • Categories Small Town