Help rebuild Owego’s iconic Strawberry!


Carving to take place during the 42nd Annual Strawberry Festival

OWEGO — The chainsaw carved, bright red, wooden Strawberry that sits proudly on the Front Street bank of the Susquehanna River has served for years as a local stop, attracting residents and visitors, and serving for artist renderings and event advertising.

It has become symbolic of the beauty and energy of Owego.

Unfortunately the Strawberry is deteriorating from exposure to water, age, carpenter ants, and woodpeckers. It has decayed extensively — and will soon be unstable and unsafe.

“Professional assessment has determined that we are losing it, and that it cannot be repaired,” said Kim Trahan, who owns the property where the Strawberry resides, is spearheading this effort.

Chris Eberly, an arborist and tree specialist, originally carved the Strawberry years ago; and amazingly, he built it entirely out of one large piece of black walnut.

The strawberry was placed where it now sits, on the Front Street riverbank, following the 2011 Susquehanna River flood. It has been proudly displayed in several Strawberry Festival parades, and has become a symbol of the Village of Owego.

Concerned Village residents and business people are coming together to request assistance with rebuilding the Strawberry.

The Historic Owego Marketplace, host of the annual Owego Strawberry Festival, is supporting the effort. JR Carving, of Elmira, N.Y., has been retained to carve a new Strawberry that will emerge from a large trunk of a damaged tree from the Pumpelly House Estate on Front Street in Owego.

Justin Hulslander, of J. Hulslander Custom Concrete Inc., has been engaged to provide a permanent base for the new Strawberry carving. His team has designed a stylized stamped concrete base and steel support to accept the new large wood piece, soon to become the Strawberry.

Richards Monument Service of Owego will assist with a new Owego NY sign, sandblasted into the concrete base. The actual Carving of the Strawberry will happen on Saturday, June 15, on the riverbank where the original Strawberry resides and during the Strawberry Festival.

They are asking for your help rebuilding the Strawberry; the community has an opportunity to contribute to the rebirth of this local icon. A GoFundMe Campaign, “Save the Strawberry of Owego”, has been developed to support the project, since the total cost will exceed $5,800.00. Because the Strawberry carving resides on private property, no municipal grants or funds are available.

You can find the link at

To learn more about the festival, visit, or Follow the Historic Owego Marketplace on Facebook.

Once the cost of the restoration is satisfied, any further fund donations will be presented to support HOM’s annual Strawberry Festival, set this year for June 13 at Hickories Park with a Rock N Run 5K Race, and on June 14 and 15 in downtown Owego.

You can find all things festival at, or by following the event, 42nd Annual Owego Strawberry Festival, on Facebook.

At the Pumpelly House, Kim Trahan is pictured next to the tree that will be utilized to carve the new strawberry. Provided photo