**official press release from Christ Church Cathedral
Indianapolis, IN – The Cathedral Women of Christ Church Cathedral are elated to once again bring the Indy Strawberry Festival to Monument Circle on September 2, 2021 after forgoing the 2020 festival in the wake of the global pandemic. By pushing the event to later this Fall, the group hopes to be further into the public health recovery where volunteers and participants can safely enjoy their shortcakes.
“The Cathedral Women look forward to bringing our community together each year and are delighted to resume the festival after such a challenging 15 months,” 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.”
In prior years, and with the help of 300 volunteers from the church and local agencies, the women have raised around $60,000 to $70,000 annually, which goes straight back to the community in the form of project grants. Recipient agencies in the recent past include: Exodus Refugee Immigration, Resources of Hope, Inc., Random Acts of Flowers Indianapolis, Joy’s House, School on Wheels, TeenWorks, Peace Learning Center, and many more.
A full list of grant recipients from the proceeds of the 2019 Strawberry Festival is available here.
“As we begin regathering at the Cathedral, we will work from now until September to support the Cathedral Women whose logistical operation to host this event is no small feat,” remarked Christ Church Cathedral Dean and Rector Gray Lesesne. “We are eager to bring our beloved Indy Strawberry Festival back to our friends and neighbors on Monument Circle this Fall and doing so with both joy and safety in mind.”
Prior to 2020, the Cathedral Women have held their Annual Strawberry Festival for the past 54 years on the 2nd Thursday in June on Monument Circle. The festival is a staple of summertime for the downtown community, who show up in droves from downtown and greater Indianapolis to purchase made-from-scratch shortcakes topped with ice cream, strawberries and whipped topping; and enjoy live music on the circle.
The first inaugural Strawberry Festival was held on Thursday, June 10, 1965. The festival was the idea of parishioner Pat Harding and Church Sexton Nate Gore, who suggested the church host a strawberry festival, such as they had back in Harding’s hometown of Lymington, England. That year, the Cathedral Women baked and sold 100 homemade shortcakes on the church lawn, and sold out within the first two hours. In recent years, 20,000 shortcakes have been made annually for the Festival.
Shortcakes will be offered for sale from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., or until supplies run out. Bulk orders will be available for pick-up beginning at 8:30 a.m.