Hillsborough county hosts one of the top 40 festivals in the United States, the Florida Strawberry Festival. Located in Plant City, it features Country Music’s top artists, live entertainment, games, and, you guessed it, strawberries.
The festival is a must if you can equate the beautiful weather of south Florida, with miles of food vendors, plus daily performances by Country Music’s top artists to a great time.
The 11-day festival has a lot to offer, but we can argue that the foodies of the world truly must indulge here. Here’s a list of 5 foods that to try during the festival:
Strawberry Shortcake is undoubtedly the most popular cuisine of the festival.
Per Tradition, the Plant City Lions Club is one of the longest running vendors serving the treat. They’re booth is located in the historic Arthur Boring Civic Center building. The Lions Club has sponsored the Strawberry Festival Queen’s Pageant since 1930 and proceeds from their festival booth help fund the Pageant.
For those who are craftier, be sure to stop by St. Clement Catholic Church’s “Make Your Own” Strawberry Shortcake station. Over 4-million shortcakes were served in the 2018 festival.
And if you REALLY love Strawberry Shortcake, you should consider signing up for the Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest, Thursday, March 7 at 2 p.m. The challenge? Eat 4 lbs. of strawberry shortcake in 10 minutes.
Local farmer Parksdale serves perhaps the freshest strawberry milkshakes at their booth each year. Parkesdale is the largest family operated strawberry and citrus market in Florida, and just around the corner from the festival grounds.
Looking for the “insta-worthy” treat? Polar Bear Ice Cream, a participating vendor each year, takes the strawberry milkshake to a new level. The cup is dipped with fruity pebbles followed with toppings like whipped cream, sprinkles, shortcake, and, of course, a strawberry.
Included in the ticket price (did we mention it’s only $8?) you can officially crown your foodie status by entering the daily eating contests. Taylor’s Dougbboy sponsors the Fanta Strawberry Soda Throwdown. Every day at 2:30pm watch to see who can down a 32 oz. of Fanta Strawberry Soda the fastest.
It wouldn’t be proper festival without traditional festival cuisines. So, you’ll find plenty of enjoyment if you don’t like strawberries. Various BBQ options, Corn Dogs, Potato Twister Chips, and Funnel Cake are all available. It’s easy to bounce between salty and sweet during your festival experience.
And just in case you didn’t get enough sweets at the various strawberry themed booths, there’s more! Indulge in true nostalgia at a pick your candy booth featuring most candies you can’t even buy anymore. You know those strawberry packaged candies with a gooey inside that are in reception offices, but you can never seem to find at the grocery store? Get ‘em here.
The last thing we can’t go without mentioning are the Fudge Stands. Each year there are two distinct stands that serve up the most delicious fudge – and primarily at festivals. These homemade recipes are sure to leave you craving until the next carnie comes to town.
Plant City Strawberry Festival – If You Go
When: Feb. 28 – March 10, 2019
Where: Festival Fairgrounds 303 North Lemon St.
For more information visit: Florida Strawberry Festival
Stay: Hampton Inn Plant City