By Carol Lim
Posted 3/2/2013, 7:35 a.m.
Thousands are going for the strawberry shortcake at the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City, Florida. “We’ll go through a ton of sugar, over 5,000 flats of strawberries with 700 volunteers to serve 80,000 to 90,000 visitors.” said Kevin McFaul at the St. Clemont Catholic Church’s booth. That’s where you can pile on all the berries you want on a biscuit or cake and top it off with whip cream and a strawberry for $3.50. At the Parkesdale Farm Booth nearby, flats of strawberries are $5.95 each – a buck and a half lower than at the local grocery stores. It’s a good year for the growers and berry’s customers. The strawberries are excellent and have a solid market, according to the Florida Strawberry Growers Association.
The growers also will raise money for scholarships with their award-winning berries at the festival. Plenty of food, too from funnel cakes, corn dogs to grilled Italian sausage sandwiches, midway rides, arts and crafts for sale and exhibits. The fiddling and dancing Gothard Sisters from Seattle, Washington are part of the free entertainment at the Borden Dairy Strawberry Tent. The festival also has a lineup of concerts. Country music star Blake Shelton performs to a sold-out crowd on March 10th, the last day of the festival. Admission is $10 at the gate with parking ranging from $4 to $10 near the festival. Advance purchase tickets are $8 at SweetBay SuperMarkets every day during the festival.