After several gray and stormy days, the lure of a sunny afternoon and fresh strawberries was too much for Lucy White-Lehman and her family to resist. “I am so sick of this rain,” she groaned.
While her 2-year-old son Cody tossed footballs through a tire and husband Glenn followed 5-year-old daughter Chloe toward other games, the White Marsh resident explained why Huber’s Farm on Philadelphia Road was her first choice for a fun way to spend a bright and dry Saturday. “They always have such nice events here for families and kids. It’s always a good time.”
That’s just what Ethel Huber likes to hear. Ethel, who co-manages the farm with her husband Steve, enjoys holding special celebrations like this weekend’s second annual Old-Fashioned Strawberry Festival.
“We just try to keep it simple and have something for the whole family,” she said after packing a marshmallow-topped snowball for one hungry young customer. “We have old-fashioned games that we make ourselves, and pony rides and hayrides … and did you see the magician?”
As Paul Timms performed his sleights of hand to the delight of a picnic pavilion filled with children, Ethel explained that the Huber’s crew had to perform a little magic of its own just to get the festival up and running. “We worked in between the rain showers all week long to pull this thing together,” she said. “Today, we really got lucky with the weather. It's been perfect.”
Under the bright sunlight, dozens of families hustled every which way to take advantage of festival activities. Directly behind the magician’s stage, empty sneakers and sandals were piled outside a very popular moonbounce; nearby, children tried for prizes while playing a variety of games that involved bean bags, basketballs and little plastic duckies; the pony rides took place across from a crowded parking area; and in back of the Huber’s produce stand, lines of customers ordered cotton candy, chocolate-covered strawberries and fresh-baked pies.
Bel Air residents Ryan and Tammy Bailey brought 17-month-old Tate to the festival. As they prepared for a Strawberry Express hayride, Tammy Bailey recapped their day: “We went out and looked at some ponies and then we ate hamburgers and hotdogs and watched face painting.”
Ironically, the only things in relatively short supply during the Old-Fashioned Strawberry Festival were strawberries. “We didn’t advertise the pick-your-own strawberries because, with all this rain, we didn’t know if we’d have any to pick,” Ethel Huber said. “But it turned out that there were two patches that just happened to have strawberries ready to pick today. They’ve been pretty much cleaned out!”
No problem. Even with a shortage of strawberries, the farm still offers plenty of sugar peas, herbs, Swiss chard and other fresh produce—although most festival-goers appeared happy just to have a break from the rain.
Sunday’s hours for the Huber’s Farm Old-Fashioned Strawberry Festival are noon to 5 p.m.