For years, the bright red, wooden Strawberry standing proudly on the Front Street bank of the Susquehanna River has been a local attraction in Owego.

The strawberry has been a symbol of the town but the years and other factors have taken their toll, causing the Strawberry to deteriorate significantly. Now, the community is coming together to rebuild this symbol of Owego's spirit.

The Story of the Strawberry

Originally carved from a single piece of black walnut by Chris Eberly, an arborist and tree specialist, the Strawberry has stood on the riverbank since the 2011 Susquehanna River flood. Over the years, it has been proudly displayed in Strawberry Festival parades and has become a cherished symbol of the Village of Owego.

The Call for Help

As the Strawberry continues to decay from exposure to water, age, carpenter ants, and woodpeckers, it has been deemed beyond repair by professionals. Now, Kim Trahan, the property owner where the Strawberry resides, is leading the effort to rebuild this structure.

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The Rebuilding Effort

The Historic Owego Marketplace, host of the annual Owego Strawberry Festival, stands behind the effort to rebuild the Strawberry. JR Carving, a renowned carving company from Elmira has been hired to create a new Strawberry from a large trunk of a damaged tree found at the Pumpelly House Estate on Front Street in Owego.

To provide a stable base for the new Strawberry, Justin Hulslander and his team from J. Hulslander Custom Concrete Inc. have designed a stylish stamped concrete base with steel support. Richards Monument Service of Owego will also contribute by adding a new Owego NY sign, sandblasted into the concrete base.

The Rebuilding Process

The carving of the new Strawberry will take place on Saturday, June 15th, during the Strawberry Festival, on the very riverbank where the original Strawberry stands.

Calling for Community Support

The community of Owego has a unique opportunity to be a part of this exciting project. A GoFundMe campaign, named "Save the Strawberry of Owego," has been created to raise funds for the rebuilding effort. The total cost of the project is estimated to exceed $5,800. Since the Strawberry is located on private property, municipal grants or funds are not available, making community support crucial.

Supporting the Owego Strawberry Festival

Once the restoration costs are covered, any additional donations will be directed toward supporting the Historic Owego Marketplace's annual Strawberry Festival. This year's Rock N Run 5K Race will take place on June 13th at Hickories Park, followed by festivities on June 14th and 15th in downtown Owego.

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