We are “Growing Sweet Memories”…You’re Invited! That is the slogan for this year’s Florida Strawberry Festival held each year in Plant City from March 1st to March 11th. This is the 77th year for the festival that began in 1930 where the focus of the celebration is on Plant City’s delicious delicacy, the strawberry. The festival portrays home town flair with American traditions, agriculture, and history with added community pride.
This year, you can purchase tickets at discount at all local Sweetbay supermarkets throughout the festival. Adult tickets are for ages 13 and older and sell for $8 ($10 at the gate) and youth tickets for ages 6 to 12 are sold for $4 ($5 at the gate). Children 5 and under are free. Check the festival website for a list of all participating Sweetbay locations. The festival is located on Reynolds Street (SR 574) and runs parallel Baker Street (US 92). Specific directions and alternate routes (including an easy I-4 route) are found on the festival website. Gates are open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Be sure to stop by the Neighborhood Village to see local artists spotlight their handcrafted and homemade items. You can purchase the annual cookbook with recipes from past winners, volunteers, and employees of the festival. There are plenty of wonderful strawberry recipes.
Don’t miss out on the strawberry goodies that will be found all through the fairgrounds. Over 200,000 strawberry shortcakes are sold each year with fresh strawberries grown locally are brought in daily. You can also find strawberry cobbler, strawberry milkshakes, chocolate dipped strawberries, strawberry pizza and even the sweet fruit itself are sold at the festival.
There is free daily entertainment such as the pig races, the Sea Lion Splash Show, Dennis Lee, Jay Taylor Band, Kandu Magic Show, talent shows, karaoke, and many others. There are also 3,000 free seats available during the concerts on a first come, first serve basis for the daily headline entertainment such as American Idol’s Lauren Alaina, Gretchen Wilson, Jake Owen, Reba, and Josh Taylor. Tickets can be purchased online or at 813-752-9194.
Our weather here in Tampa Bay has been spectacular for both the State Fair and now the Strawberry Festival so get out and enjoy what Florida has to offer.