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
Photo by @chloe__hand
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.
$5 parking for cars
Trams will run from the lots to gate entrances.
More information on parking can be found here.
Photo by @jkarr7
🎵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.
Photo by @jesskidding_
🍓 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
🎡 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
🐮 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
Photo by @chloe__hand
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.
Photo by @jesskidding_
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!