By Michelle Colesanti


SF_LOGOIt’s that time of the year again when the strawberries are sweet and the weather is perfect. It’s time to bring the family to the Strawberry Festival, which is celebrating its 80th year in Plant City. It will begin on Thursday, February 26 and run through Sunday, March 8. Holding true to its name, guests will find plenty of fresh strawberries to bring home as well as Strawberry Shortcake and plenty of other fair foods to enjoy during their visit.

Headline entertainment will take place each day with great entertainers as follows:

  • Thursday, February 26 – 10:30 a.m. Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra; 3:30 p.m. Bobby Vinton and 7:30 p.m. Alabama
  • Friday, February 27 – 3:30 p.m. Mel Tillis and 7:30 p.m. Scotty McCreery
  • Saturday, February 28 – 3:30 p.m. MercyMe and 7:30 p.m. Kevin Costner & Modern West
  • Sunday, March 1 – 3:30 p.m. Brett Eldredge and 7:30 p.m. Hunter Hayes
  • Monday, March 2 – 3:30 p.m. Sawyer Brown and 7:30 p.m. Happy Together Tour
  • Tuesday, March 3 – 3:30 p.m. Ronnie Milsap and 7:30 p.m. Sara EvansSF_REBA
  • Wednesday, March 4 – 3:30 p.m. Ricky Skaggs and 7:30 p.m. Craig Morgan
  • Thursday, March 5 – 10:30 a.m. Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, 3:30 p.m. Oak Ridge Boys and

7:30 p.m. Newsboys

  • Friday, March 6 – 3:30 p.m. Loretta Lynn and 7:30 p.m. Boyz II Men
  • Saturday, March 7 – 3:30 p.m. Dan + Shay and 7:30 p.m. John Legend
  • Sunday, March 8 – 3:30 p.m. Parmalee and 7:30 p.m. REBA

Tickets can be purchased at, at

the Amscot Main Ticket Office located at 2209 W. Oak Ave. in Plant City or by calling 754-1996.

The “MSF_foodake Your Own” Strawberry Shortcake Ministry from St. Clements Catholic Church in Plant City has been working on some great things this year. Promising to be the sweetest year ever, guests can visit the church’s fair location to make their own Strawberry Shortcake.

“Our family goes to the Strawberry Festival every year for my dad’s birthday. It’s a tradition, and the best part is all the fresh strawberries. We love making visiting the St. Clement’s ‘Make Your Own Strawberry Shortcake’ and usually go back for seconds,” said Valrico resident Nicole Heubusch.

In addition to all of the livestock shows, displays and exhibits, there is plenty of free entertainment included in the gate admission.

The Belle SF_Midway magicCity Midway offers fun for guests of all ages and is often the highlight of a visit. The Midway opens daily at 12 Noon except on Saturday, Sunday and Monday when it opens at 10 a.m. The Kiddie Korral opens at 10 a.m. every day.

Regular price admission tickets will be on sale at the gate for $10. Children ages 6-12 cost $5 and ages 5 and under are free. Discounted gate admission tickets can be purchased in advance, which are $8 and are available at, by calling the box office at 754-1996 or at the Amscot Main ticket gate located at 2209 W. Oak Ave. in Plant City. Advance gate admission tickets are also available at Publix through Sunday, March 8.

Check the schedule of events online for additional information on daily events including other concerts at


The 80th annual Florida Strawberry Festival will feature headline performers such as REBA, as well as midway rides, games and tons of strawberry shortcake.

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Michelle Colesanti
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.