“Florida’s Best Family Recipe!” is this year’s Strawberry Festival theme. “We chose this theme because we feel it fits the essence of what we’re all about: Food, fun and family,” said Florida Strawberry Festival General Manager, Paul Davis.

With plenty of free and headline entertainment, there is enough to keep everyone young and old entertained.

A variety of headline favorites are on tap to appear at the Strawberry Festival’s Wish Farms Sound Stage. Thursday, February 27 – Jimmy Sturr, Shoji, Tabuchi and Styx, Friday, February 28 – Ronnie Milsap & Colt Fort, Saturday, March 1  Love & Theft and Little Big Town, Sunday, March 2 – Thompson Square and Rascal Flatts, Monday, March 3 – Charlie Pride and Josh Turner, Tuesday, March 4 – Brenda Lee and Kelly Pickler, Wednesday, March 5 – Crystal Gayle and Lee Brice, Thursday, March 6 – Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Oak Ridge Boys and Third Day,  Friday, March 7 – John Anderson and Boyz II Men, Saturday, March 8 – Carolina Kole, Dustin Lynch and Jerrod Nieman and Sunday, March 9 – Easton Corbin and The Band Perry.

“We are very pleased with the lineup we have for our visitors this year,” said Florida Strawberry Festival Entertainment Committee Chairman, Joe Newsome. “We have worked hard to have a variety of genres that remain true to our roots yet satisfy all our concertgoers.”

To purchase tickets for any of the shows, visit www.flstrawberryfestival.com/entertainment/headline-entertainment/ or call 754-1996 or visit the Amscot Main Ticket Office located at 2209 W. Oak Ave. in Plant City. There are a limited number of free seats available in the grandstands.

The Belle City Midway is a highlight for many guests at the Festival. All ages can enjoy the adrenaline thrill of the many rides that turn and churn, ride and roar. There are over 25 rides just for the younger crowd to enjoy in the Kiddie Korral. The Midway opens daily at 12 Noon, except on Saturday, Sunday and Monday when it opens at 10 a.m.

Don’t forget to visit The Neighborhood Village, sponsored by Kitchen Craft. In a new building this year, it is located on the east side of the grounds. The village is dedicated to the homemade and handcrafted items created by community members. Some of the exhibits to check out this year include Home Decoration Items, Jewelry and Beading, Knitting, Crocheting, Needlepoint, Scrap-booking, Toys and Porcelain Dolls and more.

In addition to the livestock shows, check out funny man Dennis Lee and his band perform everything from Elvis to R&B and country several times daily in the Showcase Tent. Redhead Express, Savannah Jack and Pastor Calvin “Pee Wee” Callins will also entertain.

Lots of fun to be had with “ROLLO” The Biggest Little Kid in the World, Robinson’s Racing Pigs and Paddling Porkers and more.

Florida Strawberry Festival® regular admission price is $10 for adults ($8 in advance) and $5 for children ($4 in advance) and 5 and under free.

Tickets will also be available for purchase at participating Publix stores through Sunday, March 9 and can be purchased at customer service desks. Advance discounted tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children 6-12 years old (5 and under free).

“We are excited to partner with the Florida Strawberry Festival to offer this service to our customers,” said Publix Spokesperson Brian West. “It is a wonderful community event with a family atmosphere our customers will surely enjoy.”

Along with all the great fair food, don’t miss the many ways to enjoy strawberries.

A Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest sponsored by St. Clements Catholic Church will take place on Thursday, March 6 at 2 p.m. While there, enjoy St. Clements “Make Your Own” Strawberry Shortcakes.

The Florida Strawberry Festival is located in Plant City at 303 Lemon St. For more information on all the events at the Strawberry Festival, visit www.flstrawberryfestival.com.


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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.