The Florida Strawberry Festival is an 11-day community event that celebrates the harvest of strawberries! This event has become one of the best Festivals in the nation and ranks among the Top 40 Fairs in North America.
This event began in the 1930’s, but took a six-year hiatus before it was reactivated. Since then, the Florida Strawberry Festival has been around and thousands of people make their way to this wonderful event.
Guide to the Festival
This year for my leap year birthday, I decided to celebrate my day at the festival! What better way to celebrate than with delicious strawberries, exhibits, concerts and rides.
Leap Year day was also kids get in for free, which is one of the many special days & discounts offered. Aside from the discounts, this festival offers visitors plenty to do, providing entertainment for hours.
Since this is such a popular event, finding parking on the festival property may be tough. However, there are plenty of independent parking and most are near the festival.
Parking on the festival property costs $5 unless your vehicle is over 20ft in size. Any vehicles between 20ft to 35ft will need to pay $10 to park.
Festival parking are in the Blue, Gray and Red Parking Lots located on Ritter Street, off of Highway 92 or Highway 574.
If you park at an independent parking spot, it will cost you about $8-$15.
These parking spots can be found around houses, stores and many other places near the festival.
Once parked, you will then notice that there are a few gates to go through. Each gate will have a metal detector to make sure your experience is a safe one.
Although there are lines, the wait time is not long at all. People seemed to keep moving at a fast pace, which was great.
Tip: This place is huge and there’s plenty to see, so I do suggest grabbing a map that way you do not miss out on a single show, concert, contest and so forth.
It wouldn’t be a festival without some amazing rides. Even though, I wasn’t focused on the rides, I did notice some good ones such as the Giant Wheel, Disko, Zero Gravity and more!
There’s fun for all ages, so if those sound too scary for your kids, they do have the New York Yankee Kiddie Korral.
You do need to purchase tickets or a wristband for the rides, but they do have some great discounts and special days that allow you to get the wristband/tickets for a great price.
Exhibits, live stock, magic show, concerts and contests, these were all reasons why I wanted to attend the festival! With so many exhibits, it’s no wonder that people spend a whole day at the festival.
Everyday there is something different happening and each tent offers some type of entertainment. You do not have to pay for most of the entertainment as it is included with your admission.
Some of the exhibits you can expect to see are handmade crafts, plants and a bunch of different art and cooking shows.
While visiting some of the exhibits and vendors, my husband and I decided to buy some jars of honey, honey sticks, Hawaiian plants and beef jerky. If shopping is not your thing, there’s plenty of other things to do such as meeting the official mascots, Flippenout or watching racing pigs.
Aside from attending some of the exhibits and watching The Stephanie Ann show, we also got to see the youth livestock show and the beautiful cows. Rather than just watching the show, visitors have the opportunity to see the animals up close. We were able to see a variety of cows, chickens and rabbits.
There are three buildings you can get into for just the animals. There’s the Livestock Arena, the Swindle Family Pavilion and Astin Farms Pavilion.
In the Livestock Arena, you will see the shows, which is where we got to see the Dairy Show. The Swindle Family Pavilion offers visitors the opportunity to see the chickens and rabbits as well as some wonderful plants. In the Astin Farms Pavilion, we saw a variety of cows.
Although you will be up close to the animals, you will not be able to touch some of them like the rabbits and chickens.
The Florida Strawberry Festival is known for the food! Especially because most of the food is strawberry themed! From strawberry shortcake to brisket berry tacos, there’s plenty of food to try.
Although, I didn’t try the brisket berry tacos, I did get a chance to eat some delicious strawberry shortcake made by Transforming Life Church. I also got to try a strawberry lemonade, which was absolutely wonderful.
Tip: You will be mostly outdoors and it does get hot in Florida, so make sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
The Florida Strawberry Festival is one that should not be missed. Not only does it provide entertainment for the whole family, but it’s a great way to celebrate the harvest and anything else you want to celebrate!
Tip: if you are celebrating a birthday or it’s your first time at the Festival, they do have stickers for these occasions.
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Disclaimer: I did receive a media pass for the purpose of this post. As always all opinions are my own.