The Florida Strawberry Festival Is Here!
It’s strawberry season! To people in Tampa Bay and across Florida, that can only mean one thing – the Florida Strawberry Festival is back in Plant City! The festival dates back to 1930 and celebrates the vibrant strawberry harvests in Hillsborough County’s Plant City, the winter strawberry capital of the world. The Florida Strawberry Festival is known for its impressive amount of strawberry-themed foods, but is also praised for being an incredibly family-friendly event. There is no alcohol at the festival, and the atmosphere is known for being delightfully corny, filled with happiness and Southern charm. Like last month’s Florida State Fair, the event features midway rides, animal exhibits, and entertaining shows, along with the added bonus of concerts from big name acts like Rascal Flats and Little Big Town.
- Interstate 4 is bad any day, but when there’s an event, traffic is sure to come to a crawl! The Tampa Bay Times recommends taking State Road 60 through Brandon and relying on local back roads.
- There are three parking lots outside the fairgrounds, and pricing will depend on vehicle size
To Get Through the Day
- March in Florida should be lovely, but that can all change very quickly. Bring a light sweatshirt for evening wear, and consider bringing a poncho or raincoat in case of a sudden downpour.
- Stay hydrated! Sodas and sports drink might seem like a refreshing choice, but water is your best friend.
- Wear good shoes for walking, preferably a type with closed-toes.
- If you’re with a group, decide on a meeting place in case anyone gets separated.
- Give children a wristband that has your number written on it. Teach children to look for a police officer or other official if they get lost. Have a conversation about what to do if someone approaches them or makes them uncomfortable.
- The Florida Strawberry Festival staff pride themselves on being very friendly and helpful— if you get lost or simply have a question, just ask!
- Obey a ride’s restrictions. There might be restrictions against children under a certain age or height, people with medical conditions, or pregnant women. It’s disappointing to be turned away from a ride, but it’s for the best! A small child might slip out of a safety harness, or a person’s medical condition might be triggered by the speed or brightness of the ride. Restrictions are there to prevent such things from happening.
- Pay attention to any rules. Don’t stand up while on a ride, wave your hands around, or lean over the sides.
- Secure all loose items, including wallets, money, sunglasses, and phones. Don’t attempt to take pictures while on a ride. You might lose your phone, but even worse, it might injure someone else if it flies out of your hand.
- Always use any safety equipment that is provided by the ride.
- It’s very tempting to eat all the strawberry short cakes and other unique concoctions, but try to make healthy choices throughout the day. No coolers or picnic baskets are allowed inside the fairgrounds, but bring a few small snacks, like trail mix or an apple. Eating fried food might be delicious at the moment, but you’ll regret it later.
- Wash your hand thoroughly before eating. After a day of riding rides, visiting petting zoos, and interacting with the crowd, your hands could be covered with germs.
Be safe, have fun, and enjoy the strawberries!
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