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Strawberry shortcake? Yes please! The 55th Annual Strawberry Festival returns to the Indianapolis Monument Circle on Thursday, September 2.

Elise Shrock, director of communications for Christ Church Cathedral, joined us today to share a delicious strawberry shortcake recipe, which you can get a taste of at this year’s festival.

The Cathedral Women of Christ Church Cathedral will host the 55th Annual Strawberry Festival on Thursday, September 2, on Monument Circle. Traditional strawberry shortcakes will be offered for sale from 9 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., or until supplies run out. Bulk ordering opens the morning of the festival at 8:30 a.m.

“The Cathedral Women look forward to bringing our community together each year and are delighted to resume the festival after such a challenging year and a half,” said Jennifer Manterfield, Strawberry Festival Chair. “We hope that our festival not only brings Indy together for our scratch-made shortcakes, but also provides much needed funds to area organizations who support our community.”

The “Works” costs $7 for a treat of homemade shortcake, strawberries, ice cream and whipped topping. Single items are available á la carte for $2 each. Cash and card are accepted.

More than 95% of all proceeds go directly to charity. In years past, the Cathedral Women donated an average of $60,000-70,000 to non-profit organizations.

“Extending the hospitality of our parish outside of the cathedral walls and into our community is an important part of our work at Christ Church Cathedral.” continued Manterfield. “The Strawberry Festival is a treat for the whole city. But the true heart of the festival is the way volunteers, parishioners, musicians, vendors, and the community come together to raise much-needed funds to support and love our neighbors.”

The Cathedral Women also extend their deep gratitude to the Indiana War Memorial and Downtown Indy Inc. for their generous collaboration to make this year’s festival possible. While festival goers enjoy their shortcakes, they will also enjoy entertainment on Monument Circle starting at 10:00am.

Mindful of God’s call to bear each other’s burdens and love our neighbors as ourselves, festival volunteers are required to be fully vaccinated and masked. Festival greeters will be on site to encourage social distancing and mask wearing of all guests while they are in line as an act of compassion for our community. 

The First inaugural Strawberry Festival was held on Thursday, June 10, 1965. The festival was the idea of parishioner Pat Harding, who suggested the church host a strawberry festival, such as they had back in her hometown of Lymington, England. With Nate Gore, Church Sexton, the Cathedral Women thought they could both raise funds and have some fun.

The Cathedral Women baked and sold 100 homemade shortcakes on the church lawn for the first festival in 1965. They decided to host it on Thursday night to capitalize on the evening hours of the J.C. Penney department store on Monument Circle. Within two hours, they had sold out of shortcakes. This year, the congregation baked 15,055 homemade shortcakes and will serve 4.3 tons of strawberries.

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