Florida Strawberry Festival in Late February



florida_plantcity_strawberry2014The annual Florida Strawberry Festival takes place February 27, 2014, through March 9, 2014.

Although it’s a peak strawberry season (in Florida), it’s really a southeastern version of a state fair, complete with exhibits on agriculture, commerce, industry, livestock, fine arts, horticulture and crafts. The event began back in 1930 when members of the newly-organized Plant City Lions Club conceived the idea of an event to celebrate the bountiful harvest of strawberries.You can buy flats of just-picked berries right outside the gates of the festival.

These days, more than 10,000 acres of strawberries are planted annually in the local area. There are some 2,800 farms in Hillsborough County that produce fruit and vegetable crops with an annual value of over $360 million. The diverse farm production includes strawberries, citrus, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, okra, peppers, beans, dairy products, eggs, ornamental horticulture, tropical fish, beef cattle, swine and other related products.

The annual strawberry fest takes place in Plant City, Florida – which was not named for the green stuff that grows so profusely in the area. The city is the namesake of 19th century railroad developer Henry B. Plant.