Carol Armstrong and three other Potomac United Methodist Church members organized the first Strawberry Festival 16 years ago. It was a small-scale affair during a Friday Night social.
"I think we made $1,000, maybe," Armstrong said.
Quantitatively speaking, the Strawberry Festival has grown at least twentyfold. Armstrong estimated that the 16th annual festival will raise $20,000, which the Potomac United Methodist Women will donate to charities, most of which are local organizations that benefit women, children and families. The church’s parish building was full of families by noon on Saturday, and Pastor Jack Ewald said the building, two years old, helps make the event somewhat weather-proof. "We used to be dependent on the weather," Ewald said. "The area of vending has grown considerably."
The festival featured crafts, a silent auction, games, a book sale, and of course, a range of strawberry-based treats. Families at the festival could choose from strawberry shortcake, biscuits, chocolate-covered strawberries or cups of strawberries, whipped cream optional.
"We’ve been going here since we were young, to this church," said Winston Churchill High School junior Carly Williams, who helped run the children’s games with her classmate Amanda Sullivan. They also assembled spa baskets that were available at the silent auction – one basket even had an iPod Nano. "All the stuff we do here will help the community," Sullivan said. "It’s just really fun to get involved."