The bell tolls for strawberries this Saturday at The First Congregational Church in West Tisbury. Last year, over 1,500 were served at the festival which runs from noon to 4 p.m. That’s a lot of believers, keeping the faith for shortcake. Evidently, the word from up high is that these strawberries are out of this world.

Volunteers, ranging from age three to ninety-three, start culling the berries at dawn. The fresh berries are then transformed into strawberry shortcake, or sit atop mountainous scoops of ice cream. Strawberry smoothies are also available as are berries to go. For those who like something tart with their sweet there is lemonade. Anything left over, the thrifty parishioners make into jam to be sold the following week.

It’s a community event with tables and chairs set up on the lawn. Meet your neighbor or a global traveler visiting the Island for the first time. The glue that binds is bright red, delicious, and good for you too.