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Florida Guide > Other Activities

Florida Strawberry Festival

If you are in Florida in early March and feel the need to get away from the parks for a day, while at the same time sampling a slice of pure Americana that owes much to rural UK life, then why not visit the Florida Strawberry Festival. It does what is says on the tin and much more!

The Festival, which takes place in March annually in Plant City, a small town located between Lakeland and Tampa on US92, just South of the I4, has become a showcase for exhibits of agriculture, commerce, horticulture, fine arts, livestock, homemade goods and crafts. Combine this with competitions and contests for youth and adults plus parades, then you have a day out designed to satisfy the interest of all.

The Festival was initiated in 1930 by the Lions Club of Plant City to celebrate, as the name may suggest, the annual strawberry harvest. After a break of 6 years for World War II the festival was resurrected and has gone on to thrive and grow, becoming on of the top 30 such shows in America. The festival is organised by local volunteers to this day and despite it’s low cost entry, $9 for 13+, $5 aged 6 – 12 and 5 yrs and younger being free, the festival has not had to rely on taxpayer funds for its survival.

The Festival even has its own Post Office. The old mail boxes, a desk, and other furniture were actually used in early Post Offices in this area. The hand stamp on letters and cards mailed from the Post Office show "Florida Strawberry Festival Station, Plant City, Florida 33567." So you can send your friends a unique memory of this event.

King Strawberry is the highlight of the Florida Strawberry Festival. Many strawberry confections, such as strawberry shortcake, strawberry milkshakes, strawberry sundaes, strawberry ice cream, and just plain strawberries are available for purchase. Take a piece of rural America back to your villa and extend the pleasure of the day at home.

In addition to exhibitions of a whole variety of produce you can enjoy the rhythms as the Festival’s stage comes to life with country music entertainers who perform each day. Entrance to the shows are free, there being some 4000 seats available on a first come first served basis, although you can pay extra for reserved seating.

If you can’t get the theme parks out of your blood and feel the need for a ‘ride’ or two then you can buy a Ride-A-Thon ticket which allows you access to most of the rides from 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm for a modest price.

Add the thrill and excitement of the community fair to the carnival events of the Florida Strawberry Festival. Blend in the bright lights, rousing music and all the food you can eat, and you have some of the best entertainment in Florida. To quote the Festivals own slogan – “Seventy Years Old and Still Jammin!”

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Page added on: 14 September 2005
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