CHICOPEE — On Saturday, June 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., McKinstry Market Garden will be hosting its first strawberry festival at 753 Montgomery St.

The event is designed for the whole family to enjoy with live music, vendors, strawberry picking, a petting zoo and food. The event is also free for everyone to attend.

Michaela Thomas is the field supervisor at the farms and helping get the festival set up. She talked about the upcoming event.

She said, “We’re going to have about 30-plus craft vendors, people selling homemade goods and we’re going to have live music by Kittie Does Country and also an opportunity to meet your farmers and ask questions.
Kittie Does Country will be performing from 12-4 p.m. Bill and Will McKinstry will be available and on the stage when the band needs a break to answer questions.

Thomas said she recommends people bring chairs for the live music.

The event will also have strawberry shortcake fresh from the fields and strawberry milkshakes and sundaes available at the newly opened Scouty’s Scoop Shack. Momo’s Snack Shack will be open for food and the Island Spice food truck will also be at the event.

Thomas said they are hopeful to have a good enough strawberry crop by June 22 pick your own strawberry, but it all depends on the weather this next week.

McKinstry Farms has always grown strawberries, but Thomas said they have never really offered a pick your own strawberries until this year.

She added, “It’s kind of we picked the crop ourselves and sold it out of our retail store. You pick is new this year, we do have a bigger crop and we are trying to grow the you pick side of things.”

There is also limited parking at the farms so the parking lot at the store is going to be open to people shopping at the store. Parking for the event will be at Chicopee Comprehensive High School, 617 Montgomery St.

Thomas said she is excited about the upcoming event and hopes a lot of people can make it.

She added, “It will be a good time. Looking forward to people coming to the farm, learning about the farm and having a good time and understanding more of where there food comes from and the work that goes into providing fresh produce.”