The Vaile Mansion and Vaile Victorian Society are inviting community members out this weekend for a taste of summer.



The Vaile Strawberry Festival is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Vaile Mansion, 1500 N. Liberty St. There is free admission to the grounds, but tours of the mansion are $6.

The Vaile Mansion and Vaile Victorian Society are inviting community members out this weekend for a taste of summer.

The Vaile Strawberry Festival is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Vaile Mansion, 1500 N. Liberty St. There is free admission to the grounds, but tours of the mansion are $6.

Because parking is limited near the mansion, a free shuttle service is being provided from William Chrisman High School. Shuttles will run to and from the mansion every 15 minutes.

“This event is lots of fun,” said Jean Kimball, a Vaile Mansion spokesperson. “Three-fourths of the yard is covered with over 50 booths. This isn’t the kind of stuff you can find at the grocery store. These are people that have appropriate things to sell for the event like lots of antiques and jewelry.”

The festival, one of two annual fundraisers for the Vaile Mansion, was started more than 25 years ago. The second major fundraiser is the Christmas holiday tour. More than 100 craft and antique booths will be set up on the lawn as well as a children’s area, carriage rides, a vintage car show and live entertainment.

But the stars of the festival are the strawberries. Dozens of flats of strawberries will be used to create strawberry concoctions. This includes strawberry shortcake, ice cream and floats. For those who do not want strawberries, other food will also be available, including sandwiches, hot dogs and kettle corn.

“Everyone has a good time at the Strawberry Festival,” Kimball said. “If the weather is nice, the grounds are packed full.”

The Vaile Mansion was built in 1881 by Colonel and Mrs. Harvey Vaile. It has 31 rooms, nine marble fireplaces, painted ceilings and a 48,000-gallon wine cellar. It is considered by many to be among the best examples of Second Empire-style architecture in the United States.

Kimball said the money raised from both the Strawberry Festival and the holiday tours is used to purchase furniture, make repairs and maintain the building.

“I think my favorite part of the festival is that everyone has such a good time looking at everything,” she said. “I like the music and the people. It is always a fun place to be.”

For more information on the Vaile Mansion or the Vaile Strawberry Festival, visit the mansion’s website at www.vailemansion.org.