The Strawberry Festival was first held in June 1982 at the old Montgomery Hospital grounds in Olney, MD. It was created and chaired by Cindy Chirtea as a fundraiser for the museum. It was completely staffed by volunteers and featured many of the same activities as today, including craftspeople, entertainment, games, a plant sale, and food and drinks for sale. It was the only fundraiser for the museum for many years and was supported by local businesses from the very beginning. It had always been held on a Saturday in June and had an estimated 7,000 attendees in 2017. Starting in 2018, the Festival became a two-day event, to support the growing attendance.