Holy Family Parish is holding its first Strawberry Festival and Plant Sale this Saturday, June 2, on the rectory lawn on Prospect Street near St. Ann Church from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In addition to the homemade strawberry shortcake, an assortment of annual and vintage perennial plants and herbs grown locally in gardens throughout Cape Ann will be for sale.
A "country store" will offer many delicacies, from homemade Italian cookies and pies, homemade pickles and jams, homemade granola and other baked sweets to savory items such as eggplant and olive preserves.
Festival chairwoman Jane Marshall said the event, organized with the help of the parish's Women's Guild, features the culinary talents of many Italian parishioners who have been glad to share their favorite family recipes prepared with the expertise of the multi-generational cooks who are members of the parish.
"Many of these recipes have been handed down from generation to generation," she said. An example of these are gabaladina, an eggplant dish, and scacciata, which like a calzone, is a bread dough or pastry filled, in this case, with a favorite olive recipe.
As for garden needs, there will be plants, herbs, flower boxes, perennials and unique plant containers
The Rev. Matthew Green has donated some of his colorful photographs of Gloucester that were made into note cards.
Many of those in Gloucester of Sicilian descent come from ancestors who emigrated from Terrasini in the early 20th century, while others have their roots in Marsala, Messina, Sciacca, Porticello, Cinisi, Palermo, Balestrate, Trappeto, Milazzo and Castel di Tusa.
Organizers also wanted to highlight the history of the rectory at 60 Prospect St., which "crowns the head of Dale Avenue." The building was designed in the French Empire style by the noted Boston architect James Besarich, who also designed St. Ann Church. Both were dedicated in 1881. The rectory was the only brick building of the French Empire style in the city. According to the church history, the Rev. Jeremiah Healy established the parish to provide a place of worship for the Irish immigrants who worked for the wealthy residents who lived in Cape Ann's mansions.
Gail McCarthy may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.