By Michelle Colesanti

This year marks the 82nd year that the Strawberry Festival will be held in Plant City. The Festival will take place from Mar. 2-12. The theme is “We’re Playing Your Song!” and offers many opportunities to see new and old musical favorites featuring country artists such as Scotty McCreery, Willy Nelson and Rascal Flatts and rock artists such as 3 Doors Down, along with contemporary Christian artists – for KING & COUNTRY and NEEDTOBREATHE.

General Manager, Paul Davis said, “We at the festival feel that having a night devoted to Christian entertainment is a wonderful testimony for our community and a great opportunity to fellowship with others. It is also a high priority to us to create a family-friendly atmosphere, and both for KING & COUNTRY and NEEDTOBREATHE will bring music and entertainment that is positive for the whole family. Both groups put on terrific live shows, and we’re confident that our visitors will enjoy their talent and message.”

Grammy-winning Christian duo for KING & COUNTRY will appear at the Strawberry Festival on Thursday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. on the Wish Farms Soundstage. Enjoy listening to their hits, Priceless, Shoulders, It’s Not Over, Fix My Eyes and more.
Australian brothers, Joel and Luke Smallbone, are at the core of the band for KING & COUNTRY.

The soaring melodies, driving rhythms, theatrical instrumentation and personal themes are the heartbeat of the two-time Grammy Award winning duo.

“When we won those awards, it was obviously shocking,” said Luke Smallbone, noting the better-established acts they were up against. The songs from the album are very personal and maybe the Grammy voters could sense that.”
Tickets cost $25 for KING & COUNTRY.

NEEDTOBREATHE will take the stage on Tuesday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. This Grammy-nominated American Christian rock band hails from South Carolina. The band is composed of Bear Rinehart (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Bo Rinehart (backing vocals, guitar), Seth Bolt (backing vocals, bass) and Josh Lovelace (backing vocals, keys).

The lead single Happiness from their new album Hardlove was released July 2016 and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Albums, Top Current Albums, Top Rock Albums and Top Alternative Albums charts and #2 on the Billboard 200, their greatest debut yet. Tickets for the NEEDTOBREATHE concert cost $25 and $30.

Each year, nearly half a million visitors enjoy the festival’s 11 day community event celebrating the strawberry harvest by offering headline entertainment, youth livestock shows, exhibits of commerce and, of course, the strawberry shortcake.

The venue does not serve alcohol and prides itself on being family-oriented. Fresh strawberries are available for purchase, as well as strawberry shortcake and everyone’s favorite festival treats offered by dozens of food vendors. Carnival rides, games, and attractions provide entertainment for all ages.

Tickets can be purchased at the Amscot Main Ticket Office located at 2209 W. Oak Ave. in Plant City and via phone at 754-1996. Advance general admission ticket sale prices are $8 for adults and $4 for ages 6-12.

More information can be found at

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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.