~Last weekend my fiance and I checked out the Strawberry Festival, an annual event held in Long Grove, IL from June 21-23 (we went on the 21st since we both had the day off). It was about an hour drive from where I live, but thankfully traffic wasn’t bad. The main road took us on a detour that shuffled us to event parking by a local church. We walked a short way only to realize that neither of us had extra cash on us (the last $5 my fiance had was used for parking (though it was advertied as free parking, what a rip off!)). The woman at the entrance pointed us in the direction of the nearest ATM, where I withdrew enough money not only for entry for the two us ($5 per person) but also for spending.
Once inside the festival we were greeted by a band performing on the main stage and a group of people filing in and out of the shops adjacent to the stage. The festival sprawled across downtown Long Grove with several booths selling various strawberry flavored concoctions. One of the more unusal ones I saw was a stand selling strawberry flavored kettle corn, which I was tempted to try, but I chickened out. We walked several blocks down to explore the rest of the festival where we ended up at the Long Grove Coffee Company.
The Long Coffee Co. was cozy and reminicent of a traditional coffee shop one would see on TV. There were several small tables and even a shelf of old board games you could play. There was a wide selection of coffee, coffee blended drinks and tea to choose from, as well as a few pastries. I had a vanilla latte and a strawberry doughnut which my fiance and I split. Let me tell you, this was by far one of the best doughnuts I’ve ever had! It was a cake based doughnut (fun fact I actually prefer yeast based doughnuts) that was so light and fluffy even with chucks of strawberries baked into it, and coated with sugar but it wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet. It was so good that before we left I bought a half dozen doughnuts 🙂
Walking back on the main road to the majority of stalls at the festival we stopped at a stand from a company called Nectar of the Vine that was selling wine slushies. They came in packages where to make the slushy you combine the package with a bottle of wine (or other liquor you prefer) and equal parts water, blend and freeze for a few hours.
They had two flavors to sample, pomegrante and peach mango. I tried the pomegrante and my fiance tried the peach mango. After sampling we exchanged shots and tried the opposite flavors, both of which were delicious. After talking with the procuerer of the stand we parted ways and further into the festival. Before we left, however, I stoppped back and bought the pomegrante mix. The man had recognized us from earlier and gave me a deal: 2 mixes for $20 (each bag was $13 each)! Score! My second flavor I got was the peach mango.
The last stop, and perhaps my favorite, was a chocolatier that made everything you could possibly dip in chocolate or create with chocolate that could have easily put Willy Wonka out of business. I picked up a few chocolate dipped strawberries (the feature photo of this post) and a strip of chocolate covered bacon. The chocolate was so smooth and luckily didn’t melt on the car ride home! The strawberries were juicy and delicious.
Overall I enjoyed the Strawberry Festival more than I thought I would. It was through Facebook that I found the festival and learned from the guy at Nectar of the Vine that Long Grove also hosts a chocolate festival and an apple festival in the fall (which I hope to attend) 😀
For more info and to shop Nectar of the Vine’s vast selection of wine slushies visit https://www.nectarofthevine.com/