Ionia United Methodist Church will be the place to be on June 20 for its Strawberry Social. File photo

We spent a couple years, on and off, researching what became a five-week series of articles on the historic hamlet of Ionia which the Sentinel published in 2022. During that process we developed a rather special affinity for the folks there and look forward to our every return.

We will absolutely be heading back on Thursday June 20 because that is the date that the Ionia United Methodist Church at 2120 Elton Road will be hosting their annual Strawberry Social which will run from 4:30-6:30. People coming to Ionia for food is definitely part of the hamlet’s legacy.

For decades folks from the entire Greater Rochester area came to the old Locust Lawn Restaurant for the food as well as the animal attractions which then included a herd of buffalo and a lion that lived in an enclosure on the corner of Route 64 and Strong Road.

If you haven’t been to Ionia for a while, your perfect excuse to pay a visit is next Thursday for the Strawberry Social. It’s not very far away as evidenced by the fact that part of Ionia is actually within the HF-L school district.

We’ve organized this piece with three components which we’ll outline for you below.

  • Directions
  • Logistics
  • Menu

DIRECTIONS FROM MENDON ~ Obviously most people who don’t already know where this is will just GPS it, but to give those people an immediate perspective think of it this way. If you head south from the 4 corners of Mendon on Rt. 64 you’ll see that the bright green street signs identify that stretch of Rt. 64 as Mendon-Ionia Rd. and they don’t call it Mendon-Ionia Rd. for nothin’. Ionia is about five miles down the road from Mendon. Turn right onto Elton Road and the church will be on your right.

DIRECTIONS FROM HF ~ Coming from Honeoye Falls, you’re going to take Ontario Street (Rt. 65) and basically follow that straight to Ionia. It’s under 6 miles from the 4 corners of HF to Ionia and the only navigational nuance is that when you get to the fork in the road about halfway there, you’ll want to veer left onto County Road 14 which will take you right into the heart of Ionia where you’ll turn right onto Elton Road and the church will be on the right.

DIRECTIONS FROM LIMA ~ Coming from Lima, you have an 8-mile trip. Head east on Rt. 5 & 20 and about 5 miles out you’ll turn left on Elton Road. From there, you’ve got a 3-mile jaunt into beautiful downtown Ionia where you’ll find the church on your left, coming from this direction.

LOGISTICS ~ We are happy to announce that the “drive-thru” protocol brought on by the pandemic has ended. Parking is available in the church parking lot across the street, and on the side of Elton Road. Diners then walk to the church for food and can then take out, eat inside the building or, weather permitting, eat outside at the picnic tables.

MENU ~ The scrumptious food is available on an a la carte basis. Dinner choices include hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage, and salads. There will also be lots of yummy strawberry desserts available including strawberry shortcake, strawberry sundaes and chocolate sauce over vanilla ice cream.

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