Mady Lauderman

Plant City, Florida recently wrapped up their annual Strawberry Festival which ran from Feb. 28 through March 10.

According to Plant City’s Chamber of Commerce, the festival originated in 1930 and has been annually celebrated since 1948. 

Each year, over 500,000 people attend the festival to partake in activities, attend shows and enjoy the strawberries that are the focal point of the celebration. 

Attending the festival, one can find unique ways to enjoy the local produce. Options range from the simple plain strawberry, to homemade strawberry shortcake, to a strawberry sandwich, consisting of a hamburger topped with strawberry mayonnaise and relish with other traditional burger toppings. 

“I love the eats. The food is my favorite part of the festival,” Plant City local and f Melanie Melendez said. 

Melendez helps work a strawberry booth at the festival every year, and this year she worked for Strawberry Sensation Farm. 

Visitors can also view competitions such as the strawberry de-stemming contest or the strawberry shortcake eating contest. There are also many livestock shows to attend as well. 

This year marked the first official Battle of the Bands, where different bands performed and competed against each other. Performance attendance was free with the purchase of gate admission tickets. Acts this year consisted of G.W. Souther, Almost There, Kayla Ember, DBMK, and more. 

Almost There, the winning band, received $10,000 as well as 25 hours of recording time with All Access Recording. 

“They were ones to be reckoned with and deserve all of it” said Josh Trunzo, a member of competing band DBMK and local to Plant City. 

Locals and attendees loved the competition and are eager for next year’s competition and artist lineup. “It was was incredible experience to be able to participate in the first of many [Battle of the Bands]” said Trunzo, “the Strawberry Festival was an awesome change of scenery and a thrilling new experience.” 

Along with Battle of the Bands, the festival featured other headline acts such as STYX and NEEDTOBREATHE. Festival attendees could purchase tickets to see these acts and others for an extra fee along with gate ticket admission. 

The dates and entertainment for the 2020 Strawberry Festival have yet to be announced, but general and future information can be found at 


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