OWEGO, NY – Owego is bringing back its biggest festival of the year, the Strawberry Festival. This will be the 40th iteration of the event which had to be canceled the last 2 years due to COVID.

There will be hundreds of vendors, many selling strawberry-related items, as well as children’s activities, over 20 bands across 4 stages and the return of the popular dinosaur adventures.

Pat Hansen was recently appointed Queen of the festival at a ribbon cutting ceremony. Hansen founded the festival in 1981 when she owned the gift shop Hand of Man as a way to bring more people to the Owego downtown business district.

“Other people had potato fests and blueberry fests, so we looked around and we had strawberries here,” said Hansen. “We had 4 strawberry farms way back when in 1981, that’s when it started. So, we said let’s have a strawberry theme. And then it kind of grew every year, got bigger and bigger and bigger.”

The festivities begin on Friday at 5 p.m. and run through 10 p.m. when there will be a large fireworks display over the Susquehanna River.

Saturday’s events begin at 10 a.m. with a parade and run through 5 p.m.

Other attractions include a Wine and Beer Tasting Tent, Firematic Hose Races on Saturday, a free corn hole toss at the block party, and a drum circle at noon on Saturday. Jugglers Will Stafford and Nate the Great along with Spiderman will also be roaming around.

For more information, go to eperiencetioga.com