Vashon Island Strawberry Festival

In the annals of fruit-themed island festivals, the Mercer Island Mango-Fest never caught on; busy New Yorkers couldn't be bothered with the Staten Island Banana Jam; and Hawaii essentially constitutes its own ongoing paean to pineapples, so we'll ignore that too. All of which leaves the Vashon Island Strawberry Festival, founded in 1909, as your top island/fruit combo of the summer, and it has many excellent qualities. First, of course is the fruit: red and perfectly dimpled, equipped with their own green handle (the stem), nature's natural complement to whipped cream. Second is the process of getting there: Everyone loves a ferry ride, and the 40-minute passage from Fauntleroy to Vashon offers just the right ratio of scenery-to-duration. (Let's face it: The Bremerton run always strains your patience; and it's a let-down once you're there.) Biking on and off the ferry adds to the berry adventure; or you can take the $1 shuttle to Ober Park (about two miles south of the ferry dock). There, a beer garden, music stages, local craft vendors, and many food stands await. And yes, there's more on the menu than just strawberries. You can even eat Cajun-prepared alligator steak, though it won't go so well with the whipped cream. BRIAN MILLER

Sat., July 21, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., July 22, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 2012

 
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