Plant City, Florida -- Come hungry and ready to be entertained! The 77th annual Florida Strawberry Festival opens today at 10am!
Click: Florida Strawberry Festival
The festival is a tradition here in Tampa Bay that dates back to 1930 when the Lions Club decided we should be celebrating the bountiful strawberry harvest. So, they did!
And boy has the festival grown over the decades. The Florida Strawberry Festival has fed and entertained each year with the exception of a six year hiatus during and immediately after World War II.
The Festival is among the top 40 festivals in North America hosting more than 500,000 people last year!
This year features more than 80 rides, more than 20 headlining acts including Reba, Hank Williams Jr., The Oakridge Boys, The Charlie Daniels Band, Vince Gill, Demi Lovato, Lauren Alaina and Gretchen Wilson.
Click: Florida Strawberry Festival Headline Entertainers
This morning, our 10 News Morning Show team was entertained by the World Champion Lumber Jills! They are four women from Maine who can chop and saw like no other Lumber Jack!
The official festival mascot, Mr. Berry stopped by to dance!
We also sampled Strawberry Pizza from Brandon Farms, Chocolate dipped Bacon from Maveric's Chocolate Barn, a donut burger from Carousel Festival Treats and just about every strawberry dessert you can imagine from Alessi.
It's been a busy morning for our crew who also chatted on the Big Wheel with the Midway Owner as we soared high above the festival grounds.
You can purchase advanced tickets at Sweetbay Supermarkets for $8 for adults and $4 for kids 6-12. Kids ages 5 and under are free. Tickets at the door will cost you $10 for adults and $5 for kids.
Festival gates open at 10am today. Gates will be open daily through March 11th from 10am-10pm.
Florida Strawberry Festival Fun Facts:
*First Strawberry Festival celebrated in 1930
*The event is NOT funded through tax payer dollars.
*More than 3,000 volunteers help make the event happen!
*The Florida Strawberry Festival is among the top 40 festivals in North America
*There are more than 11,000 acres of strawberries planted in Hillsborough County
*A strawberry has more than 200 seeds!
*There is a strawberry called 'Florida Strawberry Festival' and it's grown in Hillsborough County