Your guide to the Florida Strawberry Festival

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Photo by @joshuamac22

Table of Contents

Sweet. 🍓The 2020 Florida Strawberry Festival is from February 27-March 3. Every spring, thousands of people flock to Plant City (only 25 minutes from Downtown Lakeland) for all the strawberry fun.

The Festival was started in 1930 – making this its 85th anniversary – by the Plant City Lion’s Club and has brought huge crowds every year, except during its six-year hiatus during World War II. Known for its food, entertainment, livestock, games, and rides, the Strawberry Festival has become a nationally-recognized event.

We want you to have the berry best experience, so we mapped out a guide (with some tips and tricks) to make sure you see + taste all the best at the fest.

Admission + Parking

🍓 Admission

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General Admission Adult: $10

General Admission Child (age 6-12): $5

General Admission Child (under 5): free

Included in a general admission ticket is all-day access to see exhibits, competitions, livestock shows, art, vendors, and free live entertainers + concerts. General admission tickets can be purchased online, at the Amscot Main Ticket Office (2209 W. Oak Ave., Plant City), or over the phone at (813) 754-1996 starting Thursday, Dec. 12 at 8 a.m.

While General Admission allows entry into the Belle City Midway (aka “The Midway”), tickets or wristbands must be purchased for rides + games. Purchase Midway tickets + wristbands on site.

Extra charge for headliner entertainment concert tickets. Check out headliner ticket prices here.

🍓 Parking

$5 parking for cars

Trams will run from the lots to gate entrances.

More information on parking can be found here.

Entertainment

🍓 Headliners

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🎵This year’s concert headliners include Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Nelson Brothers, Josh Turner, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts + more.

🎵All 2-3 daily headliner concerts are located at the Wish Farms’ stage.

🎵Ticket prices range from $20-$55, depending on the artist.

🎵 General admission tickets must be purchased to access the headliner concerts.

🍓 Free Entertainment

There is no shortage of free entertainment. From music to eating contests, you won’t be bored at this festival. 🍰

🎸 Battle of the Bands, a free concert (with the purchase of a general admission ticket) featuring up-and-coming artists. Each competitor will be battling before the final event in the Publix Tent.

🎵 Live music at the Stingray Chevrolet Entertainment Tent, Kellogg’s Strawberry Tent + the Publix Showcase Tent every day. Their performance schedules are coming soon.

🎭 On Grounds performances take place throughout every day of the festival. Enjoy a variety of performances including a milking parlor, magic shows, dancers, robots, and even meet + greets. Details coming soon.

🐷 Daily Dog Shows + Pig Races. Who wouldn’t want to see dog tricks + fast pigs?

🍰 Eating contests. Cheer for kids (and adults) of all ages as they chow down on Amish donuts, corn dogs, shortcake, strawberry mashed potatoes + strawberry spaghetti.

Attractions

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🍓 Belle City Midway

🎡 Known by Festival regulars as “the Midway.”

🎡 Your typical state fair style rides + games, but also much more. Experience rides like the Ring of Fire + Nitro for a thrill. 2018 Strawberry Queen Ally Burt’s favorite ride is the Zipper.

🎡 Daily deals + special events can be found here.

🎡 A list of rides and height requirements are posted here for our fun-sized riders.

🍓 Neighborhood Village

🏆Homemade and handcrafted goods

🏆Competitions in the following categories: Cake Decorating, baking, food preservation, jewelry + beading, home decor, knitting + crochet, needlepoint + needlework, quilts, scrapbooking, toys + porcelain dolls, apparel + accessories

🏆 All entries are on display, some available for purchase. More info can be found here.

🍓 SunnyBell Kiddie Korner

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🎡 Kiddie Korner is for kids 10 and under (but some rides allow older kids + adults to ride).

🎡 35+ rides and games for a full day of play, like the Berry Go Round + the Kiddie Bumper Boats

🎡 See a full list of rides and height requirements here.

🍓 Strawberry Festival Parade

🎉 A festival tradition with Strawberry Royalty, classic floats, and musical performances. The parade starts in Downtown Plant City + according to Ally Burt (The 2018 Strawberry Queen), it’s “A cool way to get the full festival experience.”

🍓 Animal Attractions/Youth Livestock Shows

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🐮 Get up close and personal with farm animals like cows, sheep, pigs, chicken, and bunnies

🐮 Youth exhibit and showcase animals + plants they have been raising for months or even years.

🐮 See the finest livestock in Plant City and learn how the winners are selected

🐮 Check out the full lineup here.

Food + Drink

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🍓 Eat

We’re only here for the snacks.

Try a variety of unexpectedly delicious food, including the festival’s world-famous strawberry shortcake. (The strawberry pizza + strawberry kettle corn sound intriguing to us.) Check out the full strawberry-filled menu here.

🍰 2018 Strawberry Queen Ally Burt recommends the pickle barrel sirloin tips.

🍰 2014 Strawberry Queen Jessi Rae Varnum recommends the donut burgers.

🍓 Drink

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Milkshakes and smoothies and lemonade… oh my!

We’re especially excited about:

🥤 Strawberry Shortcake Milkshake - red cup rolled in fruity pebbles topped with a strawberry cupcake, sponge cake, whipped cream more strawberries + a lollipop.

🥤 Strawberry Lemonade - freshly squeezed lemonade with added strawberries. 🍓

Check out all your options here.

Tips + Tricks

🍓 From Past Strawberry Queens

We asked two former Strawberry Queens, Ally Burt (2018) and Jessi Rae Varnum (2014) for tips to have the best experience at the festival. Burt is a current freshman at Florida Southern College and Varnum graduated from FSC in 2018.

👑 Try and find some cool new food, vendors, and concerts you’ve never tried before - Jessi Rae

👑 Pay attention to discount days. - Ally

👑 Make sure you give yourself a full day because there’s a lot to see. - Jessi Rae

👑 Go to the parade! - Ally

👑 Wear sunscreen, it gets very hot! - Jessi Rae

We hope you’re hungry after reading this strawberry-saturated guide. Go get yourself some berries. 🍓

See you at the festival!

– LALtoday team