2017 Florida Strawberry Festival
If March is just around the corner—and it is—that means it’s nearly time for one of the Sunshine State’s best-known and best-loved annual events: the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City!
Since 1930, the festival has celebrated the prodigious yearly bounty of strawberries harvested from area farms, which today dedicate better than 10,000 acres to the luscious red crop. (Needless to say, they don’t call Plant City the “Winter Strawberry Capital of the World” for nothing.) If you’re envisioning a few vendors and a strawberry-eating contest, think again: This has grown into a major event, drawing big-name musical acts and more than a half-million visitors from near and far across its 11 “jam”-packed days.
This year, all the action plays out from March 2 through the 12th, and with luxury accommodations at the Westshore Grand you’re less than an hour from the berry bonanza.
Music & Other Entertainment
The 2017 Florida Strawberry Festival promises quite the lineup of headliners on its Wish Farms Soundstage: Absolute legends such as Willie Nelson, Patti Labelle, and the Blues Brothers (aka Dan Akroyd and Jim Belushi) will be performing, not to mention everyone from Rascal Flatts to Jennifer Nettles.
There’ll also be loads of other live entertainment scattered throughout the grounds, from more music in the truwhip Strawberry and Publix Showcase tents to magicians, circus acrobats, Pioneer Village woodworking and craft demonstrations, and—surely a Strawberry Festival highlight—Robinson’s Racing Pigs, going snout-to-snout in multiple daily races for (what else?) Oreo cookies.
And then there are the classic fairground rides, from roller coasters to the Tilt-A-Whirl, in the Belle City Midway; the massive flea market of locally made arts-and-crafts called the Neighborhood Village; and the crowning of the Strawberry Queen, an honor claimed this year by Drew Knotts.
The True Stars of the Show
We haven’t even gotten to the heart of the Florida Strawberry Festival, which, naturally, is the berry itself: celebrated during the proceedings with everything from a strawberry shortcake eating contest (plus strawberry spaghetti and strawberry mashed potato pie eating contests, if you can believe it) to photo ops with the official mascot Mr. Berry. And of course you can stock up on fresh Central Florida strawberries as well as strawberry products such as shortcakes, milkshakes, jams, and cobblers, as well as more left-field concoctions (strawberry hamburgers, anyone?).
Whether you come for the music, the rides, or the shortcake, the Florida Strawberry Festival is a great tradition in this corner of the Sunshine State. Book a guestroom or suite at the Westshore Grand and head on down for the festivities!