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Strawberries and Flowers: Last Saturday’s rains didn’t dampen the spirit for two popular downtown events

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By Laura Eisener


Despite the cloudy and sometimes rainy weather on Saturday, the Saugus Historical Society Strawberry Festival and the Saugus Garden Club Annual Plant Sale went on as planned this year.

It has been a great tradition in Saugus since at least the mid-1980’s. The success of the event is the result of many volunteers working before, during and after the event. Outdoors on the Roby School lawn, members of the Garden Club persevered through the rain and sold many plants and bouquets to a good crowd who considered the flowers brought delight to an otherwise gray day. Indoors, Jayne Parrott and Wendy Renda sold tickets all day for shortcakes, hot dogs, soda and chips. Laura Eisener and Jack Klecker performed various jobs throughout the day, including cutting biscuits and setting out utensils. Joanie Allbee and Larissa Ambrosio dished out lots of delicious strawberry shortcakes, while Deb Panetta and Karen Rakinic presided over the hot dog table. Randy Abber, behind the scenes, did a lot of the advance ordering for supplies and hot dogs. Many others lent a hand to keep things running smoothly. The Historical Society thanks the Legion Hall, which has provided the location for many years, and Deb Dion-Faust, who helped with setting up and clearing up afterward.

Thank you to Donald Wong and other guests who made generous donations beyond the price of the shortcakes. Kayem donated the hot dogs and Piantedosi bakery gave a significant discount on hot dog rolls. Many people come every year for this event, which kicks off the summer season, and there are always some who come for the first time. Saugonians always enjoy this opportunity to chat and enjoy old-fashioned strawberry shortcakes, resulting in many smiling faces.

This is the annual fundraiser for both the Historical Society and the Garden Club. Both clubs strive to keep membership prices low, and the Historical Society invites members of the public to its educational programs free of charge six times a year. While the club’s members keep the nonprofit organization going, it is not necessary to be a member to attend the programs.

The current display at 30 Main St. is about the Saugus High School Band and includes photos, stories, uniforms and their memorabilia from band history. It is open by appointment, on meeting nights, and will also have some open days this summer when we can schedule a board member to welcome public viewing. The building owned by the society stores historical information and artifacts, promotes knowledge of local history and is also used by the local cable TV station for its filming and offices.


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