Florida Strawberry Festival
|Florida Strawberry Festival|
|Location(s)||Plant City, Florida|
The Florida Strawberry Festival is an annual event that takes place in Plant City, Florida. It was started in 1930 by the local Lions Club, a local philanthropy club dedicated to bettering the community, after several attempts by locals in the previous 20 years to promote the local strawberry crop. Beginning in 1929, The Lions Club worked to plan the festival honoring King Strawberry, the champion of the area's agricultural products. The festival lasts 11 days, and generates an attendance of about half a million patrons from all over Central Florida and other global nations. The festival is recognized as one of the best festivals in the US and ranks among the Top 40 Fairs in North America.. The Festival admission is $10 for adults (aged 13+), $5 for children (aged 6-12) and free for kids under 5.
- The festival is a venue for flea market-style craft and item sales, various free entertainment acts/events, a very large midway, plus twice-daily "big name" musical concert performances. Tickets are required for these concerts, there used to be free seating on a first-come-first-served basis, however after the 2017 festival the area was renovated with stadium seating and is no longer free. 2018 is the first year no free seating will be available.
- The festival is also known for its famous St. Clement Catholic Church's "Make Your Own" Strawberry Shortcake. which is shown on carnival eats on the cooking channel © and will be featured again in 2018. During their 46th year St. Clement Catholic Church's "Make Your Own" Strawberry Shortcake booth served its 4 millionth strawberry shortcake on March 4, 2018.
- Every year a parade is held in the festivals honor and features Plant City's Person Of the Year award.
- The festival has livestock activities in conjunction with the local 4-H club.
- The festival consistently outdraws the Florida State Fair, held at the nearby Florida State Fairgrounds.
- The Plant City Lions Club holds a scholarship pageant where contestants ages 16–20 in a defined district in Hillsborough County, Florida compete for the Strawberry Festival Queen title, First Maid, and three court members. Throughout the year, the Queen and her court attend many events, representing the festival and Plant City. On January 19, 2019, Kendall Gaudens was crowned the 2019 Strawberry Festival Queen along with her court, First Maid Madilyn Conrad and court members Kennedy Cullins, Jada Brown and Olivia Frazier. The pageant is well described in "The Strawberry Girls" by Anne Hull, which appeared in the New Yorker magazine, August 11 & 18, 2008.
Florida Strawberry Festival Lineups
Jimmy Stuff, Bobby Vinton, Alabama, Mel Tillis, Scotty Mccreery, Mercyme, Kevin Costner, Hunter Hayes, Sawyer Brown, Happy Together Tour, Ronnie Milsap, Sara Evans, Ricky Skaggs, Craig Morgan, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Oak Ridge Boys, Newsboys, Loretta Lynn, Boyz 2 Men, Dan + Shay, John Legend, Luna Shalabi xPermalee, REBA.
Willie Nelson (first sold-out afternoon show in Strawberry Festival history)
- "Florida Strawberry Festival".
- Celebuzz (2012-03-03). "Demi Lovato Goes Rocker Chic at Strawberry Festival (PHOTOS)". Celebuzz. Retrieved 2015-12-24.
- Video Headlines (2014-11-17). "Florida Strawberry Festival entertainment lineup includes Reba, Kevin Costner". Tbo.com. Retrieved 2015-12-24.
- "Headline Entertainment".
- Florida Strawberry Festival (official website)
- Strawberry Festival Parade (official website)
- Food Fest! Your Complete Guide to Florida's Food Festivals
- St Clement newsletter from March 2007: has photo of shortcake makers
- https://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Clement-Make-Your-Own-Strawberry-Shortcake/256543645325/ St. Clement "Make Your Own" Shortcake Facebook page
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