Out & About: Strawberry festival comes to Colburn Park

  • TImothy Larsen and Molly Kirby at the Special Needs Support Center's Happenings New Years Dance on January 4, 2019 at the Upper Valley Senior Center in Lebanon. The dance is one of many programs the nonprofit organization hosts for adults and children with special needs. (Courtesy of the Special Needs Support Center)

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Help the Special Needs Support Center celebrate its 40th anniversary this Saturday at the nonprofit organization’s Strawberry Festival to be held from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Colburn Park in Lebanon.

“It was the right time of year and I think it was just trying to think of ways to get our community to all join each other out on the green for fun sweets and a nice time,” said Nicki Thrall, administrative coordinator for the center.

Admission is $8, with children 5 and under free. Tickets can be purchased in advance at snsc-uv.org/ or the day of the event.

In 2018, the Lebanon-based organization served 286 people, 2,517 times, Thrall said. The organization assists children and adult with special needs and their families. They provide mentoring, support and man programs and activities, including the much-loved annual prom.

“It’s one of the reasons why we raise funds,” Thrall said. “So we can do our prom and these other wonderful social events through the year.”

The Special Needs Support Center receives the most funds from foundation giving, followed by individual donations. In addition to full-time staff, the center has volunteers who assist with events and programming.

The event includes live music from bands in Tuck’s Rock Dojo, face painting, arts and crafts, a cornhole tournament and barbecue hosted by Salt hill Pub and a strawberry dessert contest. Lebanon Police Chief Richard Mello will make an appearance in the dunk tank at 2 p.m. 

“We were hoping that it was going to be a little bit warmer out and that we'd have more plentiful strawberries for the festival,” Thrall said, but they are still on track to receive strawberries from an Upper Valley farm. “We would love to see people there.”

— Liz Sauchelli