Next Year at Plant City’s Strawberry Festival…!

Strawberries are probably my favorite “American” (as opposed to Filipino) fruit.  I ate a lot of strawberries when I lived in the Philippines.  And I still eat a good amount when the price is right.

Fortunately, it’s strawberry season in Florida so I’ve been eating strawberries every day.  In the mornings, I top my cereal with sliced strawberries.  At lunch, I have them as dessert.  In the evening, I put them on ice cream.  Weekends, strawberries sit atop my bagel and cream cheese.  When I want a snack, I blend strawberries with yogurt for a strawberry smoothie.

The season must be peaking because strawberry prices are very good.  I first bought them a few weeks ago for $2.50 a pound.  Then they dropped to $2 a pound.  Since last week, they have been about $1.70 a pound (three pounds for $5.)  And this is at the grocery store.  They may be cheaper at the roadside stands.

When I lived in the Philippines, the top of the strawberry lineage was “Baguio” strawberries, possibly because of the higher altitude in Benguet province, where Baguio is located.  In Florida, the top of the lineage is Plant City strawberries, which purportedly is the source for 75% of the US winter strawberry supply.

Baguio strawberries - masarap! (delicious)

Baguio strawberries – masarap! (delicious)

Accordingly, Plant City (winter strawberry capital of the US) is home of the annual Florida Strawberry Festival which is over 75 years old and this year runs February 28 – March 10.  I lived six years in the county adjacent to Plant City but never made to the festival.  In fact, I’ve lived in Florida for over 40 years now and have never made it to the festival.

One reason is that I don’t like large crowds and this festival is said to be among the top 40 in the country.  Also, early March is not always good weather, even in Florida.  (The forecast for early this morning is a low of 28.)

Next year, weather permitting, that will end.  Since I’ll be retired by then, I’ll be able to attend the festival during a weekday when the crowd will presumably be smaller.

I may see a band from my youth.  This year, the performers include Chubby Checker and Foreigner.  But for sure, I’ll indulge in all things strawberry!

Here’s what I’m missing this year….


4 responses to “Next Year at Plant City’s Strawberry Festival…!

  1. Great post! I’m with you on strawberries, although I’m also a huge fan of blackberries. I just looked this up and Plant City is 286 miles from Tallahassee, but I can tell you somewhere closer without a festival: Vann Strawberry Farm, in Baconton GA (72 miles). It’s between Camilla and Albany, It’s on the Georgia-Florida Parkway (aka Georgia 300). They also grow watermelon, tomatoes,and peaches. I used to have to go to Albany quite a bit and discovered Vann Farm by accident one day. They have a roadside stand and a little building with a freezer where you can buy homemade strawberry ice cream. I haven’t been there in years but now I’m missing it!

  2. Love strawberry season. We buy them roadside by the half flat for $4-6 this time of year and in a month $5-8 a flat. Here’s a tip for you. Strawberry’s taste much better if they never enter a refrigerator. Sweeter and juicer. I keep them outside by the pool while the weather is cool.

    The strawberry festival is ok but you need to pick good weather and go during the week to miss the incredibly unruly kids who maraud the grounds. It’s really just a state fair with strawberrys, everyone who can’t afford Disney goes to the fair.

    • > half flat for $4-6 this time of year and in a month $5-8 a flat.

      I need to get to Tampa in the next month!

      I like “big” fairs and festivals. Disney’s too…”manufactured”…for me, although I do like Epcot.

      This October, I plan to get to the National Peanut Festival in Dothan, because I like goobers too, especially boiled. Never been to that festival either, and Dothan’s a short drive.

  3. Fresh ripe strawberries are such a treat! The ones available here over the winter months are okay, but they don’t compare to summer strawberries. Enjoy the peak season there!

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