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Rainy Weather Hurts Strawberry Festival in Wilkes-Barre

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- It might be fitting that after all the wet weather rain brought an early end to a strawberry festival in Wilkes-Barre.

Farmers there say all this rain could bring an early end to the strawberry season.

The skies were cloudy above Public Square in Wilkes-Barre Thursday as farmers prepared their stands for the city's second annual Strawberry Festival.

"It's not raining. It's just overcast, so let's hope that rain stays away and we have a great afternoon here," said Ray Zimmerman, Zimmerman Farms.

Each of the vendors at the festival had something strawberry to offer attendees, but most visitors tell us they came for quarts of the bright red berries.

"They come in different shapes and sizes just like people do," laughed Marian Fomitcheva of Kingston.

Farmers at the Strawberry Festival in Wilkes-Barre tell Newswatch 16 if you want locally grown strawberries, you better get a move on because strawberry season in Pennsylvania doesn't last long.

"Strawberry season is nearly over. I don't expect to have any next week," said Lynn Hoagland, Hoagland Farms.

"Well, we had close to 2 inches of rain last night. It's just wet, and I think this will be the last week for strawberries on my farm," said Zimmerman.

Hoagland says the way the weather has been, he's lucky to have berries to offer people at the festival.

"I would say it's 'berry' wet," Hoagland joked. "(The berries) will not last long. They have a high water content, and they spoil quicker, so you buy the berries, you use the berries that day."

While rain held off for most of the festival, it came in and ended the event about an hour early.

Farmers say if you didn't get a chance to buy berries before the downpour, you better get out to your local farmers market soon.

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