ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — On Thursday, more than 50 volunteers are gathering in Roanoke to spend the day baking about 10,000 shortcakes ahead of the Community School’s 42nd annual Strawberry Festival next month.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 7 at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Kitchen in Roanoke, dozens of Community School parents, staff members, alumni, and community volunteers plan to rolling up their sleeves to make the shortcakes before the main event.

The festival may not be until the first weekend of May, but organizers say more than 2,400 volunteer hours go into this annual event, which is expected to draw about 20,000 people craving mouth-watering strawberry shortcakes and other homemade desserts.

According to the Community School, “Real butter, locally milled flour and fresh Homestead Creamery milk are the main ingredients in the base of the festival’s famous Strawberry Shortcakes.”

The Community School’s Strawberry Festival — which is returning to Elmwood Park after a socially-distant yet successful drive-thru festival at the Berglund Center in 2021 — will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, May 6 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 7.  

“Festival goers can look forward to traditional festival fun as well as homemade strawberry shortcakes, sundaes and chocolate dipped berries,” Community School said.

The Strawberry Festival was founded more than 40 years ago as a fundraiser for the school, but it is now one of Roanoke’s most beloved festivals, organizers say.

If you want to learn more about the festival or preorder your desserts, click here.