Marcia Strykowski

Strawbery Banke Fall Festival

Strawbery Banke is a 10 acre outdoor living history museum located at 14 Hancock Street in Portsmouth, NH. This restored colonial village is  worth checking out. The historic houses are staffed and open for touring May 1 through October 31, from 10 am to 5 pm. They are also open for special events throughout the year. From their website:

Strawbery Banke is unique among outdoor history museums in presenting a complete neighborhood’s evolution over 300+ years, with most of the 37 historic buildings on their original foundations. These structures link visitors to the people who lived on the Portsmouth waterfront from 1695 to 1954. Costumed role players and traditional craftspeople recreate the lives, concerns and challenges of families in the community, basing their interpretations on diaries, letters, historical records, archaeology and collected artifacts.

Strawbery Banke’s Annual Fall Festival showcases dozens of traditional New England handmade crafts, heritage breed and farm animal demonstrations, and the museum’s heirloom gardens and seed-saving program. The Fall Festival also now incorporates the Children’s Book Festival. The book festival has been happening for five years and this year included celebrating the 40th Anniversary of The Ox-Cart Man. This gorgeous picture book, written by Donald Hall (September 20, 1928 – June 23, 2018) and illustrated by Barbara Cooney (August 6, 1917 – March 10, 2000), has always been a favorite of mine and was awarded the 1980 Caldecott Award. It was a highlight of my career to meet both Donald and Barbara years ago. Barbara was at a Boston Book Builders event in 1991 (where she signed Miss Rumphius for me!). I remember the moderator called her Hattie, mistaking her for the main character in Hattie and the Wild Waves when the book was actually based on her mother’s life. Years later I ran into former U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall at the Andover Bookstore. One of his comments has always stayed with me. He said that even for a short poem it took him many many revisions. He often spent hours putting a comma in and then taking it out again, over and over.

I had a great time at this year’s Children’s Book Festival, visiting with new and old author friends as well as talking with those who stopped by to buy books.

Children’s Book Authors left to right: Kim Chaffee, Kirsti Call, Marcia Strykowski, Carol Gordon Ekster, Christy Mihaly, and Terry Farish.

You never know who might pass through the festival.

Below is the view out the window from where I was selling books. I’d seen sheep herding before, but duck herding!?

Maybe I’ll see you next year at this fun fall event!



  1. Cool! What a great group of authors!


  2. Laura Fineberg Cooper

    Dear Marcia,
    I love all the pictures and thank you for sharing them. I sincerely hope to be able to attend the Fall Festival next year.


    • Thanks, Laura. That would be wonderful to see you there next year!


  3. It was great to see you in that lineup of authors.


  4. Sounds like a fun festival!


  5. Michelle Elder

    Lovely post on Strawberry Banks! Hope you had a great and successful time!


  6. Deborah Nolan

    Marcia this looks like a delightful place to visit. I know it would be somewhere that would be entertaining to me. What a wonderful opportunity to meet both Donald and Barbara. Thanks for sharing. Have a blessed week.


    • Thanks, Debbie! I’m sure you’d enjoy this museum and town. There’s a little bit of everything to visit here.


  7. I remember Strawbery Banke! We visited in 2013.


  8. Joyce Ray

    Hi Marcia, I’m looking forward to seeing you in Nashua on Nov. 7. I’ll want an autographed copy of Roller Boy, please.See you soon.Joyce


    • Hi, Joyce! Yes, I saw your name listed, too, and can’t wait to see you there. Thanks for your interest in Roller Boy!


  9. Looks like a fun and wonderful event! Wish I lived closer! 🙂


  10. Sounds like a great time. Something I would enjoy.


  11. Stephanie@Fairday's Blog

    This sounds like a fun book festival and the outdoor museum looks like a fun place to visit! Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Looks like a wonderful time for all!


  12. Ashley

    This fair looks super fun!! Combining books and crafts is a great idea! Wish I lived closer to you!!


  13. Bette Norton

    What an amazing day you had! Strawberry Banks is on my bucket list. What a wonderful idea to collaborate a book festival with their fall festival! It must of been fun to be in community with your fellow authors and lots of great books! How fortunate you were to meet Barbara Cooney and Donald Hall. Thank you for sharing this wonderful event! I hope you sold lots of books!! A delightful post! 🙂


  14. What a beautiful place to visit, and great group of authors. Thanks for sharing this Marcia!😊


    • Hi Lilly! Speaking of beautiful places, I hope you are continuing to visit scenic areas and cooking up delicious foods. 🙂 I’ll check in with you soon. Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Marcia! Glad to hear from you. Yeah, we try to visit some nearby places whenever we can and try creating a new dish…I hope everything is well for you, Marcia! Have a lovely weekend. xoxo


  15. Angelilie

    I really like your beautiful blog. A pleasure to come stroll on your pages. A great discovery and a very interesting blog. I will come back to visit you. Do not hesitate to visit my universe. See you soon. 🙂


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