A Strawberry Festival that Takes Residents Back to a Simpler Time
July 1, 2016
by Len Lathrop
Somehow when you head into Litchfield, especially when you are moving north on Charles Bancroft Highway, you feel like you have gone back in time. Maybe it doesn’t happen to everyone but if you go past the elementary school for an event at the Litchfield Community Church, the hustle and bustle of everyday life is nowhere to be found.
This is a good thing, a strawberry festival, no one is stressed but everyone involved had worked hard. Of course, the strawberries were plentiful, and you could have biscuits or waffles with them.
Not knowing many of the people, you hear about the upcoming art show and the donation to the town that a now-famous former resident has made and will be unveiled. Then Rev. Lori Wiley comes over and grabs your hand, asking how Eileen and Libby are (they were there once for an animal blessing), Steve Calawa wants to know if Libby is now a Presbyterian and, of course, the answer is ‘no,’ she is a Presbyterrier. Yes, Libby is a dog.
To be remembered from one event is something special. It is great to hear that people love Rich Lassalles’ stories about their town. Still, the highlight of the trip was when a man, everyone seemed to know –with the exception of this writer– that someone had come along and bought all his eggs. He must sell eggs. Not sure of the exact number, but a lot, and he was concerned that he did not have any for his regular customers. The town of Litchfield is just a friendly world. A long-term activist for the people of Litchfield, Pat Jewett was there selling raffle tickets for a homemade quilt. It was until she had you hooked that she revealed the drawing wasn’t until the church fair in the fall.
The boys were moving chairs and making sure the trash barrels were never full. The historical society had a table with Litchfield memorabilia in the form of cups and vases and blankets and something made of bottle caps with vintage pictures in them.
The Strawberry Festival in Litchfield was nice; it was a hometown event that transported you back to the days when the pace of life was slower and neighbors knew each other.