- Visit North Central
Celebrating the Seasons with Johnny
Strawberries. Peaches. Apples. To every fruit there is a season — and in Johnny’s backyard, to every fruit there is a festival, too!
With its long agricultural history, North Central Massachusetts is a natural for agriculture-based fairs and festivals of all kinds. In June, you’re sure to find a country church fair where strawberry shortcake is in the spotlight: Sweet, juicy berries on home-baked biscuits, topped by mountains of freshly-whipped cream.
Where to look? To start, try the Old Fashioned Community Home Days festival in Lancaster, or Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Winchendon, which is teaming up with the town’s 250th anniversary celebration this year.
And don’t forget the Strawberry Festival at Lanni Orchards in Lunenburg — it’s a summertime tradition here!
It’s Just Peachy!
In August, peaches take center stage — and you won’t want to miss the Peach Festival at Carlson Orchards in Harvard! Whether you enjoy them baked in a pie, or just warm and juicy straight from the tree, you’ll find plenty of peaches to whet your appetite here! Each year, Carlson’s produces 5,000 bushels of peaches and nectarines — and you won’t get bored, because their are six varieties of peaches and five varieties of nectarines to keep your tastebuds busy.
An Apple a Day
Of course, since you’re in Johnny Appleseed Country, you expect to find apple celebrations. Don’t worry; you won’t be disappointed. In fact, you don’t have to wait until picking season opens in late summer! The celebrations begin in May, when hillsides painted with apple blossoms lift everyone’s spirits.
You can find apple blossom festivals high above downtown Leominster at Sholan Farms and in Harvard. It may not be apple-picking time yet, but local growers and residents will be anticipating the harvest to come with music, craft sales, a butterfly release and even a rubber ducky race!
Of course, you’ll want to plan visits to local farms, orchards and communities as the season progresses …. and those now-ripe apples, pumpkins and other treats step into the festival spotlight. Be sure to check the calendar section of this Guide, and visit our website often to keep track of what’s in season, and who’s throwing a pickin’ party!