Don’t miss this year’s 2020 Strawberry Festival. With the promise of ‘Perfect Vision,’ everyone in attendance will see plenty of family-friendly entertainment, including fair food delights, concerts, rides, stage shows, animal shows, attractions and exhibits.

The festival will take place for 11 days starting on Thursday, February 27 and will run through Sunday, March 8.

This 85th season continues to show the fabric of American life woven into the festival through its social events, contests, youth programs, top-name entertainment and parades with glorious floats and marching bands.

Gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. daily. Midway times vary. General admission is $10 for ages 13 and up. Children 5 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Children 6 to 12 require a youth ticket purchase of $5. Discount tickets are available at Publix now through March 8.

More than 2,500 local volunteers help annually, as 500,000 plus visitors attend the Strawberry Festival. Many won’t leave until they’ve enjoyed its signature strawberry shortcake. It’s a tradition for many, but if you want to enjoy other creative Plant City strawberry creations, try some Strawberry Fudge, Strawberry Fritters, Strawberry Kettle Korn, Strawberry Cobbler, Strawberry Sandwiches and, if you must watch your weight, the Bowl of Berries offers a sugar-free version. Lots of other strawberry items and other fair foods are also available for you to feast on and test your imagination.

The Strawberry Youth Parade will take place on Saturday, February 28 and the 2020 Grand Parade will be on Monday, March 1. Along with the floats and bands and lots of good old fashioned fun, you can meet the Florida Strawberry Festival Queen, Meghan White, along with First Maid Kennedy Sapp and court members Denim Hughes, Lacie Collins and Emma Miller. Meghan is the daughter of Stacy and Barbie White and is an 18-year-old senior at Durant High School. You will also see them at festival events throughout the grounds, including the Wish Farms Soundstage before each of the Headline Entertainment shows.

“Once again, we have an outstanding group of young ladies who will represent us well for the 85th year,” said President Paul Davis.

There is no place better than the Strawberry Festival to catch some of your favorite concerts. Favorites such as Rascal Flatts, 98 Degrees, Patti LaBelle, Sara Evans, MercyMe, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more will take to the Wish Farms Soundstage.

Reserved seats for Headline Entertainment shows are available at the Amscot Main Ticket Gate, located at 2209 W. Oak Ave. in Plant City. An additional ticket office located on the southwest corner of the TECO Expo Hall will be open during the festival to sell any remaining reserved seat tickets.

With your paid admission, there is also a lot of free entertainment to enjoy. In the Publix Showcase Tent, Dennis Lee and Vocal Trash both take the stage about three times daily.

Local talent Soul Circus Cowboys perform on Saturday, February 29 at 6 p.m. Or maybe you love to cook; if so, catch the Publix Aprons Cooking Show on Sunday, March 1 at 6 p.m.

The Battle of the Bands Competition will have the best singers, musicians and bands from the area battle it out at this year’s festival. The final event will take place on the Wish Farms Soundstage on Saturday, March 7.

Do food contests excite you? A few that you will find at the festival include the Deep Fried Strawberry Pie On a Stick Relay on Thursday, February 27 at 2 p.m. at the Stingray Chevrolet Entertainment Tent, the Fanta Strawberry Soda Throwdown at 2:30 p.m. daily at the Belmont Magic Show Stage and the Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest on Thursday, March 5 at 2 p.m. at the Stingray Entertainment Tent.

Don’t forget to catch the Youth Livestock Shows, which will take place throughout the festival days.

Other daily activities include the Belmont Magic Show, Robinson’s Racing Pigs, Dakin Dairy Farmers Milking Parlor, K9s in Flight, Kids Coloring Corner and more.

For more information on all of the shows and events that will take place at the festival, visit

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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.