WORLD'S LARGEST STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE SATURDAY, JUNE 1st, 2024 following the Grand Parade LOCATED AT: STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL GROUNDS, CHEADLE LAKE PARK SERVED: SATURDAY OF THE LEBANON STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL AT APPROXIMATELY 1PM COST: FREE (DONATIONS ACCEPTED) ARRIVE EARLY TO MAKE SURE YOU GET A PIECE BEFORE WE RUN OUT
Just as any great meal wouldn't be complete without dessert, the Strawberry Festival just wouldn't be complete without our famous World's Largest Strawberry Shortcake! The Shortcake history is as giant as it is, but most festival-goers aren't worrying about its history while anxiously receiving their slice from one of our Strawberry Festival Princesses...No, they are focused on savoring that yummy goodness they have waited for all year! It's just that good. Before our beloved Strawberry Shortcake can get in our festival-goers' hands, there is a lot of work to be done! Have you tried making that big of a cake in your kitchen? It's a challenge! So we recruit bakeries to help us out. We don't make one "World's Largest" shortcake anymore but "smaller" versions of over 8,000 pieces. The task of baking all that is still daunting! The famous Strawberry Shortcake started in 1931 by Munyan Bakery, and continued by the Shimanek's and Durlam's when they took over the bakery. Eventually, the duty of baking the cake was given to Safeway and Roth's, who took turns with the baking responsibilities. The title of "World's Largest" was applied to our shortcake early on, but has been disputed by other communities at various times. In 1975 there was a Battle of the Shortcakes between Lebanon and Garden Grove, California. Lebanon won easily with a cake weighing over 5,700 pounds and serving about 16,000 people. Garden Grove cake weighed 1,200 pounds and served about 3,000. To make a 5,700 pound cake, the size of our 1975 shortcake required 514 cups of sugar, 224 cups of shortening, 192 cups of eggs, 992 cups of flour, 576 teaspoons of salt, 2048 teaspoons of baking powder, 448 cups of milk and 18 cups of vanilla. And of course some giant ovens! Traditionally the shortcake goes through the Grand Parade, and makes its way out to the Festival grounds. A team of volunteers cut the cake into slices adding the yummy strawberries and whip cream for the many Festival-goers. The Oregon Dairy Wives generously donate all the whipped cream. The reigning Queen and her court are on hand to ceremonially "cut" the cake using one of our historic giant knives before the cake gets passed out free of charge for thousands to enjoy. The Teen Challenge team and many community volunteers help serve. Also involved in our Strawberry Shortcake each year is Sally Skaggs with Santiam Place Event Hall, who personally goes throughout Lebanon and hands out about 1,000 pieces of shortcake to people who are unable to make it out to the Strawberry Festival grounds. Cake is delivered to the residents of our assisted living communities, patients at the Lebanon Community Hospital, and many of the fire department's and police department's on-duty personnel. If you have your heart set on one of those pieces of cake, make sure and arrive early! There is no telling how quickly it will disappear in any given year.