The Florida Strawberry Festival represents a piece of Americana, a time in American history when fairs and festivals brought communities together through celebrations of their harvests. It has continued to grow in popularity year after year through the preservation of this heritage.
Central to its focus, the festival continues to preserve and enhance the agricultural and historical legacy of the Florida strawberries.
“Both Kyle and I have grown up in Plant City and we both have a rich love for the festival, this community and the people who attend the festival,” said current Strawberry Festival director Paul Davis.
He will be retiring at the end of the upcoming festival season, and Kyle Robinson will be taking his place.
This year’s theme is ‘We Have a Winner.’
“We always try and make our themes short and sweet,” Davis said. “We got all of our staff together and this is the theme we came up with because we are the number one fair in the state of Florida. Another reason for this theme is that we won the state competition for the state dessert. It was between key lime pie and strawberry shortcake. How many key limes are grown in Florida? None, so we won.”
As the Florida Strawberry Festival continues to grow each year, it also wants to be accessible for all families. This year, it is debuting a new program called Special Smiles Day, which will be held on Friday, March 3 from 9 a.m.-12 Noon.
“The Special Smiles Day has been generously sponsored by the Rotary Club of Plant City,” said Kyle Robinson. “This unique event is reserved for celebrating and serving our most treasured guests in a safe, fun and sensory considerate environment. All Special Smiles attendees and one companion will be admitted for free, and entry is at gate five. We want to keep this going forever!”
Both Robinson and Davis hope that this year’s festival will be wonderful for all who attend. “We pray before every meeting at the festival, and we pray for safety,” Davis said. “We pray for good weather, and we pray that everyone who comes to the festival has the best experience ever and they will join us year after year.”
If you would like to learn more about the 2023 Florida Strawberry Festival, visit its website at www.flstrawberryfestival.com. The Florida Strawberry Festival runs from Thursday, March 2 through Sunday, March 12.