On Wednesday, March 7th, all active, reserved, and retired military veterans along with law enforcement and first responders get in free with a valid ID.
The annual Florida Strawberry Festival was started in 1930 by the Plant City Lions Club. Originally, they wanted to celebrate our wonderful strawberry crops in Plant City. Due to World War II, the festival had to be canceled, but was restarted in 1948 by American Legion Post #26. Even to this day, the Lions Club, along with other civic organizations, participate in the festival. The Strawberry Festival has a little bit of everything including, but not limited to, agriculture, live stock, fine art, and crafts. Everything surrounding American culture can be discovered at the festival including contest, youth development programs, concerts by top entertainers, and parades. With all of the exhibits and programs, the Florida Strawberry Festival is in the top 40 fairs of North America.
In Plant City, there are over 10,000 acres of strawberries along with multiple other crops. Hillsborough County has around 2,800 farms producing citrus, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, okra, beans, peppers, eggs, beef cattle, and swine bringing in an annual value of over $360 million.
This years line up includes big names like Brad Paisley, Earth Wind and Fire, I love the 90’s tour with Vanilla Ice and Salt-n-Pepper, Trace Atkins, Reba McEntire, Big & Rich featuring Cowboy Troy to name a few. In addition to the big name entertainers, the Florida Strawberry festival has a lot of free shows throughout the day.
In addition to the wonderful work they do, on April 29th, the Florida Strawberry Festival held a charity ball, The Strawberry Ball, to donate the money to a local food bank. This year the ball raised $22,900.
Every year I look forward to attending the festival with my family and to trying all of the new food and seeing the amazing concerts. Come out and see all that Hillsborough has to offer.