The Florida Strawberry Festival is an exciting annual event in Plant City, Florida.

It is well worth the 160- to 180-mile trip (depending on route) from Naples. Held each year in March for ten days, the festival has been thrilling visitors and residents alike for over eighty years.

The next Florida Strawberry Festival will be held March 1 – 11 in 2012). It will be the 77th annual with the appropriate theme of “Growing Sweet Memories,” something you are sure to do if you attend!

Hillsborough County, home to Plant City, is one of the largest agricultural counties in the United States. Besides over 8,000 acres of strawberries that are planted each year, the county produces huge amounts of fruits and vegetables including citrus, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

You will be able to enjoy exciting and informative exhibits of agriculture, commerce, industry, livestock,
fine arts, horticulture, and crafts from the area. They have an intensive focus on programs for youth, so be sure to bring the kids!

There are a lot of contests that you can enter too! Whether you are good at strawberry stemming or raising a special rabbit to show, there is a contest for you. They even have racing pigs!

The social events are varied and include top-name entertainment. Your gate admission allows you to all exhibits and events. You will find special pricing for midway entertainment on all days, so check that out. Entertainment of top-name performances is daily at 3:30 and 7:30pm at the main soundstage that houses about 3,000 free seats on a first come basis. Reserve seating varies from $10 and up.

And of course, no festival is complete without parades. So, if you love a parade, you will enjoy this one with its many bands and beautiful floats all depicting the definite theme of the year.

Regular gate admission is $10 for adults; $5 for children 5-12 years of age, and children under five are free. Advance gate admission prices are $8 and $4 and may be purchased at participating Sweetbay Supermarkets.

Read about other Florida Festivals and keep planning the fun!