Strawberry Festival in Plant City, Florida : The Taste of Summer

A Tasty Strawberry

Strawberry Festivals celebrate this fruit. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The Strawberry Festival in Florida starts this week and runs March 4th – 14th. While most areas of the country are still cold, wet, and chilly, Plant City Florida is already celebrating one of the tastiest of summer fruits, the strawberry. Floridians, bundled up against the 50-degree weather, were lining up at the gates this morning, ready to spend their cash now.

A History of Strawberry Festival Fun

According to the Florida Strawberry Festival website, the Strawberry Festival has been around since 1930, with only one six-year break around World War II. It is full-scale fair, and ranks in the Top 50 Fairs in North America. There is even a Post Office dedicated only to the festival that is open just 10 days a year.

Plant City celebrates agricultural abundance

The area in and around Plant City, Florida is a produce lover’s dream. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 2,600 farms in the roughly 1,266 square miles of Hillsborough County. Fruit and vegetable crops are grown and harvested year-round, The Florida Strawberry Growers Association lists the strawberry season as December through April, meaning this March Strawberry Festival falls at the perfect time to get sweet, ripe strawberries. The University of Florida even has an entire department of research dedicated to strawberries. Their Berry/Vegetable Times even traces the developments in agriculture for this abundant area.

Going to the Strawberry Festival

If you’re lucky enough to live in Florida, or you can borrow money and make the trip, the Strawberry Festival in Florida is definitely worth the travel. The Strawberry Festival lasts 10 days, and offers everything you love about fairs. Dozens of big rides, lots of free entertainment, and even the Strawberry Queen are ready to greet you. There are also big-name concerts – this year, the Smothers Brothers, Switchfoot, REO Speedwagon, and Debbie Reynolds are just a few of the big names. Be ready to pace yourself – there are multiple city blocks just filled with Strawberry-featuring food, drinks, and fun.

Celebrating the Strawberry Festival at home

If you’re like most of us, you won’t be able to visit sunny Florida for the strawberry festival. If March is a little early for you, or you live closer to the West Coast, California has a strawberry festival as well – a two-day shindig in May. You could also just make it a point to celebrate the Strawberry festival at home. In the colder states, you can do this by starting a strawberry plant or two indoors, in preparation for warmer weather. Even if you live in an apartment, upside-down strawberry planters provide lots of juicy fruit in the middle of summer, and you don’t even have to take out no-fax loans to get one.

Strawberry Festival recipes

If you’re lucky enough to have in-season strawberries available to you, try a new strawberry recipe or two. Try mixing sliced strawberries with feta cheese and walnuts, then drizzle the whole thing with balsamic vinaigrette. Or, for a more simple dessert, just dip strawberries in your favorite whipped cream and dream of the warmer weather to come. No matter what you decide to do, celebrating the wonderfully sweet, juicy strawberry is very possibly the practically perfect fruit.

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