Central Florida / Festivals

Florida Strawberry Festival: Feb. 28-March 10, 2019 in Plant City

2019 Plant City Strawberry Festival runs 11 days

This article includes:

  • Entertainment Details
  • B&Bs and Lodging in Plant City
  • Campgrounds near Plant City
  • Things to Do in Plant City

The Florida Strawberry Festival rocks this normally quiet little agricultural town, attracting thousands of fans every day for 11 days to the epicenter of strawberry fields — Plant City.

Folks have been harvesting strawberries near Plant City since the 19th Century, giving plenty of cred to its claim as the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World.

Every year since 1930, residents show off at harvest time with Florida’s largest agricultural festival as more than a half-million people converge on Plant City for the 11-day party. The Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City rivals any state fair in the country with its agricultural displays, livestock shows, arts and crafts, local food, headline music concerts and huge carnival midway.

Brad Paisley performs on March 11

The entertainment line-up, year after year, continues to be extraordinary.

This year’s headliners include Brad Paisley, Reba MacEntyre, Charley Pride, Jerry Lee Lewis, Josh Turner, Trace Adkins, Earth Wind and Fire, and many more.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.flstrawberryfestival.com, by phone at 813-754-1996, or in person at the Amscot Main Ticket Gate, 2209 West Oak Avenue in Plant City.

Festival admission is $10 for adults (13+) and $5 for children 6-12. Children under 6 are free. Concert tickets are additional.

For history buffs, read about Plant City’s “strawberry schools” in the Florida Archives’ Memory Blog.

2019 EntertainmentLineup TBA

Concert tickets go on sale in December 2018. All concerts also require a gate admission ticket. Free seating is no longer offered for concerts; all seats now require tickets.

This was the lineup for the 2018 festival earlier this year.

Thursday, March 1

  • 10:30 a.m. – Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra
  • 3:30 p.m. – Oak Ridge Boys
  • 7:30 p.m. – DNCE

Friday, March 2

Saturday, March 3

Sunday, March 4

Monday, March 5

  • 3:30 p.m. – Jimmy Fortune
  • 7:30 p.m. – Josh Turner

Tuesday, March 6

  • 3:30 p.m. – Gaither Vocal Band
  • 7:30 p.m. – Casting Crowns

Wednesday, March 7

  • 3:30 p.m. – Englebert Humperdinck
  • 7:30 p.m. – Trace Adkins

Thursday, March 8

  • 10:30 a.m. – The Lettermen
  • 3:30 p.m. – Drifters, Platters and Cornell Gunter’s Coasters
  • 7:30 p.m. – I Love the 90s featuring Vanilla Ice, Tone Loc and Salt-N-Pepa

Friday, March 9

  • 3:30 p.m.  – Charley Pride
  • 7:30 p.m. – Earth, Wind & Fire

Saturday, March 10

  • 3:30 p.m. – Sawyer Brown
  • 7:30 p.m. – Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Anthony Hamilton

Sunday, March 11

  • 3:30 p.m. – Chase Bryant
  • 7:30 p.m. – Brad Paisley

Concert tickets should be available in early December 2018  at www.flstrawberryfestival.com; by phone at 813-754-1996 or in person at the Amscot Main Ticket Gate at 2209 Oak Ave. in Plant City. (Service charges apply to Internet and phone orders.)

There will also be free entertainment throughout the festival grounds.

It’ll be a strawberry pickin’ good time!

If you want to avoid the crowds during the Strawberry Festival, you can visit Plant City any time during the berry-picking season — January through April — and be immersed in the strawberry culture. (Blueberries are also grown here, with the harvest’s peak in May.)

Although most commercial growers in the area do not allow you to pick your own strawberries, there are a few family farms that do. Here’s one that comes recommended by readers at pickyourown.org: Spivey Farms, 6101 South County Road 39, Plant City, FL 33567 (813) 650-8999 (Call for hours)

Picking your own strawberries:

  • Dress comfortably. Wear loose fit clothing.
  • Wear a hat or cap and bring sunscreen.
  • Bring your own containers.
  • If you plan to spend the day, take ice to keep berries cool.
  • Select only firm ripe berries.
  • Be careful not to remove the tops of the berries.
  • Make an effort to pick every ripe berry on each plant rather than jumping from plant to plant and row to row.

Did you pick too many strawberries? Check out Louise Sanchez’ Herbs, Crafts and Gifts blog about canning strawberries that her husband picked at the Strawberry Palace on U.S. 60 in Plant City.

Things To Do In Plant City

Center map
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Florida Strawberry Festival
Parkesdale Farm Market, www.parkesdale.com The largest family operated strawberry and citrus market in Florida, this farm harvests more than 3 million pounds of strawberries each year. You can also find plenty of citrus and other locally grown produce. 3702 W. Baker Street, Plant City,  FL 33563, (813) 752-0502

Fred’s Southern Kitchen, www.fredsmarket.com The Johnson family has turned Southern cooking into a major attraction around Plant City, especially now that the legendary Branch Ranch Dining Room has closed. Fred’s Southern Kitchen is ranked No. 1 of 39 restaurants in Plant City on TripAdvisor. 1401 W. MLK Blvd., Plant City, FL 33563, (813) 752-7763

Dinosaur World , www.dinosaurworld.com A great diversion for the kids, Dinosaur World is an outdoor “museum” where you can see 150 life-sized models of prehistoric dinosaurs. Built on the site of a former alligator farm, the dinosaur models are up to 80 feet in length and are grouped as they may have lived in a variety of settings and lush vegetation. 5145 Harvey Tew Road, Plant City, FL (813) 717-9865

Lodging In Plant City

Back to Eden B&B in Plant City.Back To Eden B&B — Dave and Sherry Orcutt are your hosts at this unique plantation-style country inn with a swimming pool on six and a half acres with a long private drive. The Orcutts promote a healthy Christian lifestyle. There are five themed rooms ranging in price from $125- $185 per night. 4906 Thonotosassa Road, Plant City, FL 33565 (888) 808-8018

Strrawberry House in Plant CityStrawberry House B&B — Located in the Historic District of downtown, the Strawberry House is just four blocks away from Plant City’s antique shops, dining and shopping. Your privacy is assured with the inn’s four rooms with private baths ranging in price from $65 to $95. 805 N. Wheeler Street, Plant City, FL 33563 (813) 759-0279.

Book a room in Plant City on Hotels.com

RV and Tent Campgrounds Near Plant City

Campsite at Hillsborough River State Park near Tampa

Campsite at Hillsborough River State Park

Hillsborough River State Park. 15402 U.S. 301 North, Thonotosassas, FL 33592. This state park has 112 sites with water, electric, picnic tables and fire ring. (Dump station available.)  The Hillsborough River cuts through the park, offering opportunities for fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Hikers will find seven miles of nature trails. Bicycles permitted on the 2.2-mile Park Loop and the 1.6-mile Wetlands Restoration Trail. Rates:  $24 per night, includes water and electric.  Some walk-on sites. Call (813) 987-6771 for more information.

Alafia River and Alafia River State Park, County Road 39 S, Lithia, FL.  Alafia has some of the most challenging off-road bicycle trails in Florida, rambling 17 miles through the park’s varying elevations. Hikers and equestrians have another 20 miles of hiking and horse trails available, and there is access to lakes and the river for kayaks and canoes, as well as fishing.  The campground lies along the conifer-lined shore of Lake Alafia with great views. There are 30 spacious campsites with electric, water, picnic tables and a fire ring.  Rates:  $22 per night.

Edward Medard Park and Reservoir, 5276 Panther Loop, Plant City, FL.  This 1200-acre park is co-managed by Hillsborough County and the Southwest Florida Water Management District. It includes a 700-acre reservoir with a white sand beach with boat access for paddlers and fisherman.  Equestrians enjoy the 3.25-mile bridle path, and you can rent horses at stables near the park. Hiking is also available on all roads and trails.  There are 40 campsites with water, electric, picnic tables and grills located on two heavily wooded loops near the lake. Reservations are not accepted and sites are $16 per night, first come, first served. Call (813) 975-2160 for more information.

Lithia Springs County Park, 3932 Lithia Springs Road, Lithia, FL 33547. This campground has 40 sites for RV, tents and trailers with fire ring, table, water and electric hookups. (Dump station on site). The major attraction of this 160-acre park is its natural spring with excellent swimming. The spring feeds the Alafia River, offering multiple canoe and kayaking opportunities.  Rates:  $24 ($18 for seniors).  No reservations accepted. Walk-ons only, first come, first served. Credit cards are not accepted. Call (813) 744-5572 for more information.

More nearby natural Florida camping:

Best Camping Near Tampa: 9 Choice Campgrounds

Woodsy cabins near Orlando

7 cool parks for camping near Disney

Florida Rambler adventures near Plant City:

Birding near Lakeland: Circle B Bar Reserve

Van Fleet Bike Trail: 29 Miles of Rural Solitude

Withlacoochee River: Scenic kayak trail

Baseball and camping: 2014 Spring Training Guide

Manatee watching: Where to see manatees in Florida

Links

Florida Strawberry Festival

Helpful Tips for Attending the Strawberry Festival

Yelp! Reviews of the Strawberry Festival

Florida Strawberry Growers Association

Directions: Easily accessible from Interstate 4 via Exits 17, 19 and 21. Follow the signs.  

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28 Comments

  1. This is from the festival’s website: “Dogs and/or other animals are not allowed on the Festival grounds unless they are a service or guide dog, non-human primate or animals in a show or contest. Certified trainers (with ID stating same) of companion dogs/animals will be allowed.”

  2. Ruby Daniels says:

    Can I bring my dog?

  3. There is reserved handicapped parking across from the main gate, special seating for entertainment, and wheelchairs and scooters are available. For accessibility information, click on this link.

  4. Jane Crater says:

    We are Josh Turner fans. Would like to order tickets to his concert tomorrow (fan club members can do this 8-6), but my husband and I walk with canes and cannot walk a long distance. What facilities are there for handicapped? We have condo in Pelican Cove in Sarasota, but would stay in motel 3/3 near festival if we could be sure we could get to and from concert from our car. Thank you in advance for your help. Jane Crater

  5. Pingback: Florida Strawberry Festival: Feb. 26-March 8, 2015, in Plant City | Florida Rambler | Tampa Bay SuperGuide BlogTampa Bay SuperGuide Blog

  6. Sorry. The entertainment listed at the moment is still from 2014, because it is too early for the schedule for 2015. We just edited the page to try to make that clearer.

  7. Dede Speakman says:

    We had a great time…fun..and we didnt have to pay to see the show..They had a free area..it was great..and Bonnie met us there..fun..

  8. Thank you so much for listing Parkesdale!

  9. Bonni Chapman says:

    Where do you park for the festival and how much can I expect to pay? Are there any atm machines onsite?

  10. cissy flowers says:

    my family and i are trying to find out how much it is to get into the strawberry festival. is there a cover charge plus ride cover charge. we want to go sunday the third. can someone help please

  11. Are we able to tailgate on concert days?

  12. Bob Rountree says:

    From Sunny Smith at the Festival: We rent electric carts, and on our map there will be a symbol where you can rent them.

  13. Bob Rountree says:

    From the festival’s Sunny Smith: Our grounds are a mixture of various surfaces, from pavement, to pressed carpeting that is stretched for convenience for strollers and wheelchairs. Both are capable, however, if you feel like an electric scooter is easiest, go that route. Electric scooters are available for rent at the festival.

  14. Bob Rountree says:

    From festival spokesman Sunny Smith: Our grounds are a mixture of various surfaces, from pavement, to pressed carpeting that is stretched for convenience for strollers and wheelchairs.

  15. Belinda Braham says:

    I cannot seem to understand why the Florida Strawberry Festival will and does not honor Essie Lewis. She was the 1st Black on the Queen Court(1973 1st Maid). She was/is a beautiful and wonderful person. Why?

  16. charles potter says:

    I need a electric cart to rent to ride on.can you help me locate place to rent THANK YOU

  17. Bob Rountree says:

    The Lizard Lick Krew will be at the festival signing autographs March 8-11.They will be at the Carolina Carports “Cover My Ride” Tour Trailer.

  18. I HEARD LIZARD LICK TOWING IS GONNA BE THERE IS THIS TRUE?

  19. Bringing Mom in a wheelchair will I be able to push her around / is it paved etc

  20. I am a true florida native, born in Lakeland, Florida. I have been going to the Strawberry Festival all of my life. This is a great place for good family fun. The food is fabulous, escpecially the strawberry shortcake booth where you can make your own shortcake. Take advantage of this attending this event and you won’t regret it!!

  21. Do you know how the grounds are at the Strawberry Festival? My husband is disabled and needs me to push him in a wheelchair or if they have electric scooters to rent that would be better. Do they have paths for such equipment. If you have any information regarding this, I would appreciate receiving it.
    Thank you
    Cheyerl

  22. Marilyn says:

    Pay to park? I hate that, pay to get in then parking fee, just not right.

  23. I’ve always loved the festival but why can’t the “TRUE FLORIDIANS” go for free?!? Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival in LA, is FREE to go there. It’s bad enough that you have to pay to park and then you pay to get in.

  24. Bob Rountree says:

    Sharon,
    We have listed several options for lodging, including nearby campgrounds. I suggest you make your reservations as soon as possible.
    Have a great time!

  25. That’s right. The Strawberry Festival was always better then the State Fair. I’ve been going since I was six years old. Every year I was able to celebrate my birthday at the Festival. Imagine that! My step-dad would even ride the rides with me. I was also treated to Cotton Candy and maybe a candied apple to go.

  26. I am investigating bringing our senior adult bankers to Plant City for The Strawberry Festival and need more info about accommodations, headliners, events, other things to do in the area. Sounds like something they would really enjoy!

  27. pamela- power says:

    i am going to attend the festival this year for first time, just wondering about the scdedule.

  28. Gene Sutton says:

    I am from Plant City, and have always loved going to the Strawberry Festival, to me there’s none better

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