Sweet celebration: Elon Community Garden hosts 16th annual Strawberry Festival

Students, faculty, and members of the Elon community gathered for the event on Fri. May 3.

The Elon Community Garden hosted the annual strawberry festival open to all community members. Each spring, the festival serves as the perfect chance to unwind, socialize, buy plants and even try some treats, like strawberry ice cream.

A student gets her face painted during the Strawberry Festival on Friday, May 3, 2024

For the 16th year, Lecturer in Environmental Science and English Michael Strickland has coordinated the strawberry festival with his garden studio class, which also coordinates the garden’s Pumpkin Festival each fall.

“It’s all thanks to students in my class,” Strickland says. “Especially the teaching assistant every year that helps run it. They’re always training somebody younger than them.”

This year’s teaching assistant for the garden studio course was Eva Colon ’24, a psychology and human service studies major.

Two university community members hold their plants while wearing the Elon maroon and gold during the Strawberry Festival on Friday, May 3, 2024.

When asked more about the behind-the-scenes work, Strickland elaborated on how strategic the planning really needs to be for the strawberry festival.

“I mean, for all those plants over there, we have to start planting them in January,” Strickland explained. “So, a lot of ‘ahead of time’ planning has to go into all of this.”

Besides the typical strawberries and plants, the festival also had stations for lemonade, hot-sauce taste testing, live music, and even hand-made jewelry sold by Lucy Horn ’24.

Every year, students tend to enjoy the space for relaxation that the strawberry festival provides.

“For me, it’s just a really fun way to bring everyone together,” says Mia Purse ’25, former English student of Strickland’s. “It’s a nice way to forget about finals and get together with classmates outside of a lecture.”