By Kathy L. Collins
The Annual Florida Strawberry Festival is a family-friendly, fun event that has something for everyone. In addition to the rides, livestock shows, eating contests and Headline Entertainment, the Festival offers a wide variety of free entertainment that runs the gamut from singing, comedy, karaoke contest to magic shows and more. Some of the acts, such as Dennis Lee, have been performing to the delight of audiences for 30 years.
In the Sweetbay Supermarket Showcase Tent, you can see Dennis Lee and his band, who will perform everything from Elvis to R&B to country. Listen to the rich baritone voice of Jay Taylor and his band. If you like Hee Haw and the Grand Ole Opry, you will love The Sweeney Family Band Country Comedy Revue.
Do you like karaoke? The Florida Strawberry Festival is hosting the Open Qualifying for Talent Quest Florida on Friday, March 1 and March 8 from 7 to 10 p.m.
In the Borden Dairy Strawberry Tent, enjoy the talents of Ron Diamond. Show times to be announced. From February 28 through March 4, catch The Gothard Sisters playing the fast fiddle, singing ballads and performing Irish dancing. Come see the versatile singing style of Lloyd Mabrey from March 5 through March 10.
Throughout the grounds there is entertainment that you and your family will love including the captivating Kandu Magic Show.
Don’t miss the Neighborhood Village open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Neighborhood Village is dedicated to homemade and handcrafted items. You won’t believe how truly talented residents from both local and surrounding communities are.
Take the family to see the World Champion Lumberjills and visit Pioneers Skills in Early Arts and Trades. Pet lovers will be thrilled by Jump! The Ultimate Dog Show. See pets who have been adopted from animal shelters around the U.S. perform amazing stunts to music.
Come see the nine-foot tall Rock-It the Robot dance. The Strawberry Festival would not be complete without a visit to Robinson’s Racing Pigs and Paddling Porkers. For a little international flair, see Runa Pacha, straight from the Andes Mountains, as they play native wind pipes, flutes and string instruments.
Special Guests this year include Jimmy Sturr & Orchestra performing on Thursday, February 28 at 10:30 a.m. Caroline Kole will perform on Saturday, March 2 at 1 p.m. on the Wish Farms Soundstage. On Monday, March 4 Home Depot will conduct a Kids Workshop at 3 p.m. Steve Hall & the Shotgun Red Show will perform on Thursday, March 7 on the Wish Farms Soundstage at 10:30 a.m. Rev. Arthur T. Jones will perform in the Sweetbay Supermarket Showcase Tent on Saturday, March 9 from 7:30 to 10 p.m.
The Florida Strawberry Festival runs from February 28 through March 10 at the Festival Fairgrounds located at 303 N. Lemon St. in Plant City. For more information on the free entertainment and for specific performance times, please visit www.flstrawberryfestival.com.