Each spring, the Florida Strawberry Festival® rolls out the red carpet to welcome visitors from throughout the Sunshine State and the world. Guests come from near and far to enjoy exhibits of agriculture, commerce, industry, livestock, fine arts, horticulture, and crafts. The fabric of American life is woven into the Festival through social events, contests, youth developmental programs, top-name entertainment, and parades with glorious floats and high-stepping marching bands.
The Florida Strawberry Festival represents a piece of Americana, a time in American history when fairs and festivals brought communities together through celebrations of their harvests. It has continued to grow in popularity year after year through the preservation of this heritage. Central to its focus, the Festival continues to preserve and enhance the agricultural and historical legacy of the Florida strawberry.
Further, steeped in tradition, the Florida Strawberry Festival is alive with volunteer spirit, uniting people from all parts of Plant City, Florida and the surrounding area. The event began back in 1930 when members of the newly organized Plant City Lions Club conceived the idea of an event to celebrate the bountiful harvest of strawberries. In 1948, the American Legion Post #26 helped get the Florida Strawberry Festival reactivated following a six-year hiatus during and immediately following World War II. The Lions Club and other civic organizations have participated in the Festival ever since.
Today, the annual event has become one of the best Festivals in the nation and now ranks among the Top 40 Fairs in North America. Having maintained the same internal structure since its inception, the Florida Strawberry Festival is a community-oriented organization, governed by a board of directors from the community that annually devotes many hours to establishing policies and direction for the annual event. And while it is an outstanding showcase of the local area, the Florida Strawberry Festival has never been subsidized by taxpayers.
The Florida Strawberry Festival is a great time to discover the charm and allure of Plant City, and it’s the perfect time to enjoy eating ripe, luscious strawberries alongside the local berry farmers that have worked hard to bring to them to market. More than 10,000 acres of strawberries are planted annually in the local area. In fact, there are some 2,800 farms in Hillsborough County that produce fruit and vegetable crops with an annual value of over $360 million. This county is now one of the largest agricultural counties in the nation. The diverse farm production includes strawberries, citrus, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, okra, peppers, beans, dairy products, eggs, ornamental horticulture, tropical fish, beef cattle, swine and other related products.
On behalf of the Florida Strawberry Festival Board of Directors, Chairman Sandee Parke Sytsma and President Paul Davis, we thank you berry much for your interest in our event, and we look forward to seeing you at our upcoming Festival! If there is anything we can do to make your visit more enjoyable, please let us know.