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Florida Strawberry Festival

Submitted by on February 21, 2020 – 8:50 amNo Comment

Strawberry Festival, Plant City, FloridaWarm weather arrives in Florida this month, Road Trips Foodies. You can tell because the 85th annual Florida Strawberry Festival takes place next Thursday (February 27, 2020) through March 8, 2020.

It’s held in Plant City — just a bit east of Tampa — with festival grounds centered on 303 BerryFest Place.

Sure, it’s more county fair than foodie fest (think carnival rides, headline entertainment, agricultural exhibits, and even 4-H competitions.

But foodies go for the strawberries. They’re sold at stands across the town, as well as on the fairgrounds. The best way, though, is to sample a strawberry shortcake. This year it will be available at three different locations on the Festival grounds: East Hillsborough Historical Society Strawberry Shortcake (directly south of the TECO Expo Hall), St. Clement Catholic Church Make-Your-Own Shortcake (inside the south end of the Parke Exhibit Building), and Transforming Life Church Shortcake (inside the Smithfield Strawberry Tent).

This popular community event draws more than 500,000 visitors every year to celebrate the strawberry harvest of Eastern Hillsborough County. Gate admission is $10 for adults (ages 13+), $5 for children (ages 6-12), and free for children (ages 5 and under with paid adult admission).

And, psst– Although Plant City is located in an agricultural area of Florida, it wasn’t named for those green, growing things. Plant City’s original name was Ichepucksassa after the Indian village that once occupied this territory. So much confusion was created with the spelling and pronunciation that the Irish postmaster renamed the village Cork, after his home city. In 1884, Henry B. Plant extended the South Florida Railroad into the town and 1 year later, when the town was incorporated, it was once again renamed this time in honor of Henry B. Plant.

Originally Plant City was a large cotton-growing center. Changing its major crop to winter strawberries made all the difference: today, more than 3/4 of the nation’s midwinter strawberries come from the environs of Plant City. strawberries

(Photo courtesy of Florida Strawberry Festival)

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