One of the most popular spring activities in Malta is the Strawberry Festival or Festa Frawli in Maltese.
It kicks off the beginning of our strawberry season with a bang and many other events to follow.
Farms in Malta which grow strawberries come together with your average fruit vendor in a typical malta festa fashion to not only sell the fresh produce but celebrate it too.
The strawberry festival is organised by ‘Kummissjoni Lejla Mgarrija’ and the local council of Mgarr and comes to life with the aid of hundreds of volunteers.
Festa Frawli 2018 will be the twelfth edition of the popular strawberry festival, and it is definitely an event that will stick around, attracting many locals and foreigners alike.
It is a family friendly event that also suits young people – everybody loves good food.
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Mgarr farms are synonymous with strawberries so it is no coincidence that the strawberry festival takes place there.
The area surrounding the village is rich in natural landmarks such as the characteristic plateaus, cliff landscapes, beaches and typical Mediterranean garigue.
A new event for the strawberry festival 2018 is the organisation of photo hunts and trail walks exploring Mgarr’s rustic surroundings and celebrating the historically and archaeologically important sites along with their natural value.
The surrounding areas include the Għajn Tuffieħa bay’s coastline, Binġemma, and Ġnejna bay, amongst others.
Ta’ Hagrar and Skorba Temples will be open at a discounted price for visitors coming from the free Festa Frawli thanks to concessions by Heritage Malta.
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Strawberry Fair Dishes
Don’t think you are going to simply buy a punnet of (gorgeous) fresh strawberries and leave, the strawberry fest boasts many stalls of food made with the strawberry season’s very best.
Strawberry fair dishes are made in an open air kitchen using fresh Mgarr strawberries always changing so there’s going to be some new strawberry desserts and snacks out there for you even if you’ve been before.
There are many of the classic strawberry desserts we can’t live without available such as crepes with strawberries and chocolate, and popular pastries, as well as the ever popular fresh smoothies malta seems to be loving more and more.
However, some of the more risky introductions have now become much loved staples unique to the strawberry fest such as a personal favourite – the strawberry ravioli.
The only thing bad about it is that you have to wait a year until the next frawli fest to eat them again!
These novelty dishes, also including strawberry spring rolls and arancini, are made by professional chefs.
If you’re looking for something a little more savoury and hearty, don’t worry, another open air kitchen will be catering the frawli fest with traditional Maltese dishes – it’s not all strawberry desserts!
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Strawberry Fest Souvenirs
If you’re all full up but would love to take home a delicious souvenir there are also stalls selling homemade conserves, jam, strawberry wine and other things.
In some cases, though we all want to take something home that’s more than just strawberry desserts and strawberry fair dishes, something a bit more long lasting.
Local craftsmen will be present selling their wares including artworks, crafts, and more traditional malta souvenirs.
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Festa Frawli Entertainment
Leading local artists will be present performing both folk and ethnic music using traditional instruments.
Celebrating Malta farms at a Malta festa, it is only right to celebrate the local culture alongside it.
The bands will be accompanied by Maltese and Gozitan folk dance troupes, celebrating yet another aspect of the local heritage.
A team of strawberry fest animators will be present to entertain young ones, as well as competitions and games for all ages, from painting to train rides to archery.
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Strawberry Festival 2018
So where is the strawberry festival?
It’s held in the square next to the Mgarr parish church.
If you intend to travel there by bus, the numbers 238 and 44 travel from Valletta to Mgarr, and the bus number 101 makes its way from Cirkewwa.
All buses are easy to catch from the InterContinental Malta Hotel.
If you’re travelling by car, a park and ride service will be operating from the nearby Ta’ Qali open-air gym, as well as nearby fields being converted to parking areas.
Now I’m sure you’re asking when is the strawberry festival this year?
Festa Frawli 2018 will be held on Sunday 8th April 2018.
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Come hungry and bring a big bag to carry all the fruit vendor’s best produce back home in, not to mention all the strawberry desserts and souvenirs, and maybe a prize or two you can proudly say were won at the strawberry festival.