PLANT CITY, FL — The Florida Strawberry Festival is our favorite harvest festival, featuring make-your-own strawberry shortcake, livestock and agriculture shows, arts and crafts, local food vendors and a spectacular carnival midway.
But its entertainment line-up is what’s extraordinary year after year.
From country icons to rock idols, the 2024 lineup includes the Beach Boys, ZZ Top, Craig Morgan, Black Eyed Peas and Foreigner. See the complete list below.
The festival runs 11 days — Feb. 29 through March 10. There are usually two headline shows each day on the Wish Farms Stage. Concert admission prices are additional to festival gate admission. Tickets go on sale December 7, 2023
In 2024, concert ticket for popular acts on the main Wish Farms Stage range in price from $25 to $65.
There will also be free entertainment on multiple stages throughout the festival grounds, which are included in the price of festival admission.
Multiple exhibits, a carnival midway and livestock shows are also part of this annual event, which began in 1930 and has been held every year except for a six-year break during World War II.
The Florida Strawberry Festival is Florida’s largest event with more than 600,000 attendees in 2023 — despite the fact there is no alcohol, no beer booths and no smoking.
Florida Strawberry Festival concerts
Tickets go on sale in December 7
Advance tickets for admission and for headline entertainment concerts will go on sale December 7, 2023, and can be purchased online at www.flstrawberryfestival.com, at the Amscot Main Ticket Office located at 2209 W. Oak Avenue in Plant City and by phone at 813-754-1996
Concerts on the main Wish Farms Stage range in price from $25-$65 per show. Festival admission is additional. Free entertainment is continuous elsewhere on the fairgrounds and is included in the price of admission.
Thursday, February 29, 2024 · 3:30 p.m.
- 3:30 pm — The Oak Ridge Boys Farewell Tour, $35
- 7:30 p.m. — OLIVER ANTHONY. Out of The Woods, $35
Friday, March 1, 2024
- 3:30 p.m. — The Beach Boys, $45
- 7:30 p.m. — Jordan Davis, $55
Saturday, March 2, 2024 ·
- 7:30 p.m. — Black Eyed Peas, $65
Sunday, March 3, 2024
- 7:30 p.m. — Parker McCollum, $65
Monday, March 4, 2024
- 3:30 p.m. — The Bellamy Brothers, $25
- 7:30 p.m. — ZZ TOP, $55
Tuesday, March 5, 2024
- 3:30 p.m. — Mark Lowry, $30
- 7:30 p.m. — Zach Williams, $40
Wednesday, March 6, 2024
- 3:30 p.m. — Craig Morgan, $35
- 7:30 p.m. — Riley Green, $50
Thursday, March 7, 2024
- 10:30 a.m. — Bill Haley Jr. & The Comets, FREE w/ paid gate admission
- 3:30 p.m. — Gene Watson, $25
- 7:30 p.m. — Kirk Franklin, $45
Friday, March 8, 2024
- 3:30 p.m. — The Commodores, $35
- 7:30 p.m. — FOREIGNER’s Fairwell Tour, $55
Saturday, March 9, 2024
- 3:30 p.m. — Jo Dee Messina, $30
- 7:30 p.m. — Flo Rida, $50
Sunday, March 10, 2024
- 7:30 p.m. — Cody Johnson, $75
Book your room in Plant City at Hotels.com
Florida Strawberry Festival celebrates the harvest
Plant City is the agricultural hub of endless strawberry fields, an agricultural area where folks have been harvesting and packaging strawberries since the 19th Century.
Every year since 1930, residents show off their crops at harvest time with Florida’s largest agricultural festival, attracting more than a half-million people every year, rivaling any state fair in the country with its agricultural displays, livestock shows, arts and crafts, local food, music concerts and a bustling carnival midway.
Florida’s strawberry season begins in December and continues through late March. From there, harvests shift north with the weather, although Plant City’s packing plants are a year-around operation packing berries from around the country and even around the world.
HOT TIP — You will have ample opportunity to buy “flats” of strawberries for bargain prices at one of many roadside stands throughout Plant City. You can buy berries on the festival grounds, but it may be more convenient to wait until you are outside the fairgrounds. A “flat” is equal to 12 pints.
The Florida Strawberry Festival Midway
The electrifying Belle City Midway will dazzle you with flashing lights, soaring rides, crazy games, diet-challenging eats and plenty of action.
The Midway is open at 10 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays and at 12 noon Tuesday-Friday.
More than 80 rides, games, and attractions. All-day ride passes and wristband bargains will be available on special days.
For more information, visit the festival’s Belle City Midway web page.
Where is the Florida Strawberry Festival?
The Florida Strawberry Festival is held in Plant City, the heart of Florida’s strawberry growing region, about 25 miles west of Tampa and 60 miles east of Orlando on Interstate 4.
From Tampa, Exit I-4 at Forbes Road (Exit 17), proceed south to Highwaty 574 (MLK Blvd.) then east to the Festival area.
From Orlando, Exit I-4 at Park Road (Exit 22), go south to Highway 92 (Baker St.), continue west, turn south bound on Alexander St. then west bound Reynolds St., leading you to the Festival grounds.
Strawberry Festival parking
Parking is $5 on the festival grounds and includes free tram service to the entrance gates. Parking is also offered at private lots, churches and nearby schools for $10-$15.
With an average of 50,000 cars a day, finding a place to park can be a challenge. It pays to cruise around the festival site for parking, if traffic permits.
You will find plenty of official signage that will take you down side streets to good parking, so don’t be afraid to wander off the beaten path a little.
Try to get into one of the official lots, which have shuttles to the entrance gates.
On a busy day two years ago, we found $5 parking on the festival grounds in the Gray parking lot, even as long lines of cars clogged other entrances and many private parking lots were full.
HOT PARKING TIP — To get to our secret entrance to the Gray Lot, come into town from the east on U.S. 92 (West Baker Street) and turn right onto Seminole Lakes Blvd, which takes you through a nondescript residential neighborhood. In about a quarter mile, you’ll see the entrance. The only signs you’ll see are at the entrance gate. Once inside the lot, park your car near the tram pavilion.
Camping at the Strawberry Festival
For inquiries about reserving a space in the Seminole Lake RV Lot, located immediately west of the Festival grounds, call the Festival office at 813-752-9194 ext. 233.
This campground is only open during the Festival. We saw the RVs from our parking spot in the Gray Lot. RV sites appeared basic but suitable.
Camping near the Strawberry Festival
I’ve camped at both Hillsborough River State Park and Alafia River State Park during the festival, and both are convenient for attending the Strawberry Festival.
Hillsborough River State Park. 15402 U.S. 301 North, Thonotosassas. 20 miles to Plant City. State park has 112 sites with water, electric, picnic tables, fire ring. Dump station on site. Activities include fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Seven miles of nature trails for hikers. Bicycles permitted on the 2.2-mile Park Loop and the 1.6-mile Wetlands Restoration Trail. Rates: $24 per night plus $7 daily for utilities (water and electric hookups).
Alafia River State Park, County Road 39 S, Lithia. 18 miles to Plant City. Alafia has some of the most challenging off-road bicycle trails in Florida, rambling 17 miles through varying elevations. Hikers and equestrians enjoy another 20 miles of hiking and horse trails. Access to lakes and the river for kayaks and canoes, as well as fishing. 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 plus $7 daily for utilities.
Edward Medard Park and Reservoir, 5276 Panther Loop, Plant City. 10 miles from Plant City. This 1200-acre park is co-managed by Hillsborough County and the Southwest Florida Water Management District and includes a 700-acre reservoir with a white sand beach and boat access for paddlers and fisherman. Equestrians (bring your own horse) enjoy a 3.25-mile bridle path. There are 40 campsites with water, electric, picnic tables and grills on two heavily wooded loops near the lake. Reservations are not accepted. Sites are $24 per night, first come, first served. ($18 for seniors). Call (813) 975-2160 for more information
Lithia Springs Park and Campground, 3932 Lithia Springs Road, Lithia. 18 miles from Plant City. This county campground has 40 sites for RV, tents and trailers with fire ring, picnic table, water and electric hookups. Dump station on site. I love this 160-acre park for its natural spring swimming hole. The spring flows into the Alafia River for canoeing and kayaking. 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.
Campsites at Edward Medard Park and Lithia Springs cannot be reserved in advance, so have a backup plan.
Colt Creek State Park, 16000 State Road 471, Lakeland FL 33809. 29 miles from Plant City. Expansive 5,000-acre state park features natural Central Florida habitat with more than 15 miles of multi-use trails for hiking, bicycling and equestrians with access to two primitive, pack in/pack out camps on the Flatwoods Trail. There are 10 camp sites in the Equestrian Campground. $5/adult, $1/child. Call the ranger station, 863-815-6761, for more information. There are 6 tent sites and 27 RV sites with water and electric (30/50 amp) in the main campground. Sites are $24 plus $7 daily utility fee and $6.70 booking fee. Book online up to 11 months in advance.
A little further away but definitely worth considering if you can’t find anything closer is Colt Creek State Park. It’s a pretty drive that will take less than an hour.
More nearby camping:
- Best Camping Near Tampa: 9 Choice Campgrounds
- Woodsy cabins near Orlando
- 7 cool parks for camping near Disney
Things to do
Pick your own strawberries!
Visit Plant City any time during the berry-picking season — January through April — and be immersed in the strawberry culture. (Blueberries are grown here, too, with the harvest’s peak in May.)
Although most commercial growers do not allow you to pick your own strawberries, a few family farms will.
Spivey Farms, 6101 South County Road 39, Plant City, FL 33567 (813) 650-8999 (Call for hours)
For more U-Pick Farms in Hillsborough County, check out pickyourown.org
Tips for 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.
- Pick every ripe berry on each plant rather than jumping from plant to plant.
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.
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
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
More things to do nearby:
- Birding near Lakeland: Circle B Bar Reserve
- Van Fleet Bike Trail: 29 Miles of Rural Solitude
- Withlacoochee River: Scenic kayak trail
- Major League Baseball: Spring Training Guide
- Manatees: Where to see manatees in Florida
Bed and Breakfasts in Plant City
Strawberry House B&B in the downtown Historic District, near antique shops, dining and shopping. The inn has four rooms with private baths. 805 N. Wheeler Street, Plant City, FL 33563. Call (813) 759-0279 or book online.
Sparkman House B&B in Plant City’s historic district. 1905 Queen Anne style house boasts 12-foot ceilings, wrap-around porch, 5 bedrooms in the main house plus a carriage house. 707 N. Collins St. Plant City, Fl 33563. Call 813-787-6068 or book online.
- Florida Strawberry Festival
- Plant City reviews on Tripadvisor
- Florida Strawberry Growers Association
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Bob Rountree is a beach bum, angler and camper who has explored Florida for decades. No adventure is complete without a scenic paddle trail or unpaved road to nowhere. Bob co-founded FloridaRambler.com with fellow journalist Bonnie Gross 14 years ago.