Monday's are notorious for being long and stressful days. Returning back to work and class can be a big challenge after a weekend of fun. On Monday May 9, Elon students, faculty, staff and community members gathered at the Elon Community Garden to celebrate the nearing summer.
With music, face painting, gathering with friends and eating strawberry treats, the 10th anniversary of the Elon Community Garden celebrated their seventh annual spring Strawberry Festival and Plant sale.
"Essentially, it's an event where all my friends are going to come, hang out, eat good food, enjoy each other and just generally have good vibes all around," Elon senior David Wortham said.
Wortham is in the gardening class that helped organize the festival and plant sale. The festival provides more than just food and fun, it's also hard work for the community garden members.
"It's really cool to see people wiling to support the garden and the community garden club," Wortham said.
The event helps build a relationship between Elon students and staff and the local community. Devin Mehra is a senior and a member of Elon's chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity. He connected with community members.
"I met this elderly woman. I helped her carry her large plant to her car. And I had a nice conversation with her," Mehra says.
Gardening professor Michael Strickland said the community has grown since the festival began in 2009. In the first few years they had about 30 or 40 people attend, Strickland said. But in the past four years, he's seen it grown to average about 400 to 500 people. However for Strickland the festival means more than just increasing attendance.
"It's a place where students can come to learn about growing food to get away from the hustle and bustle. It's just a few steps away from everything," Strickland said.
Even though students and faculty and staff are preparing to break for the summer, fall harvest is on the minds of event organizers. They accepted donations at the Strawberry Festival to help fund the pumpkin festival in the fall.