32nd Annual Floral City Strawberry Festival March 2-3
You know spring is just around the corner when the 32nd Annual Floral City Strawberry Festival comes to town! Get ready to come out to one of Citrus County’s prettiest parks on March 2 and 3 for fun (and strawberries), food (and strawberries), entertainment (and strawberries), Princess Pageants and Pie-Eating Contests (and strawberries), arts, crafts and more (and strawberries), and kids’ activities galore (and strawberries)!
Oh, and did we mention there will be STRAWBERRIES?? Luscious strawberry shortcake prepared by the Citrus County Agricultural Alliance and the Cattlemen’s Association will be available for your noshing pleasure, along with flats and half-flats of whole fresh berries grown locally by Ferris Farms that you can take home with you as a sweet souvenir of your day to make your own delectable treats.
This year, the Floral City Strawberry Festival returns to some of its Americana roots with home-crafted sounds from a roster of traditional-style musicians. But just because they have traditional influences doesn’t mean they aren’t exciting!
The Floral City Strawberry Festival is honored to introduce a new talent to our festival audiences! Emi Sunshine is making her Citrus County public debut at the festival on Saturday afternoon. This young lady – only 14 years old – hails from East Tennessee and has captured the nation’s attention and enchanted their hearts with her musical wizardry. Steeped in Appalachian music, Emi is a true vocal stylist. Influenced by legends (Loretta Lynn/Tanya Tucker/ The Louvin Brothers), she is a throwback to earlier eras of country music when trendsetters like Bessie Smith, June Carter, Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams made history. A spectacular 2014 performance at a Tennessee flea market skyrocketed her career to become a worldwide phenomenon when a video of her stage show went viral on YouTube. Since her breakout at just nine years old, Emi has garnered more than 14 Million YouTube views and a half million Facebook followers. Be sure to catch her now at the Floral City Strawberry Festival, because who knows when we will be able to bring this destined-to-be-famous young lady back for an encore?
Also appearing during the festival will be Southern Express Bluegrass Band, Citrus County-favorite Jeff Jarrett, Citrus County educators Garrett Manning and Eric Tremante performing as “Taking Anderson”, and the fun and quirky Barefoot Bob and the Hope, along with Citrus County’s popular DJ John Diorio.
Pie Eating Contests and Princess Pageants
And what could be more Americana than pie-eating contests and princess pageants? Ooh and ahh on Saturday morning as poised young ladies take the stage in their favorite strawberry-themed attire for a chance to earn a crown and become the next Little Miss and Miss Strawberry Princesses. Or maybe getting messy is more your style? Then sign up to compete in the strawberry pie-eating contests for a chance to win some cold, hard cash! Competitions will be held both Saturday and Sunday.
Round your festival adventures out by strolling the park and browsing close to 300 art and craft vendors, imbibing in a cold beer or glass of wine at the beer garden near the main stage, enjoying the gastronomic pleasures offered by the many food vendors, or enjoying laughs and smiles with the young ones as they “play themselves silly” in the kids’ area.
Floral City Strawberry Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Entrance fee is $5.00 for guests 12 and older. Park free at the Citrus County Auditorium and take a shuttle to the Festival location. Floral Park is located at 9530 S. Parkside Ave., Floral City, FL 34426
For complete information on the Floral City Strawberry Festival, visit www.GoStrawberryFest.com. On Facebook, search for “Floral City Strawberry Festival.”
Floral City Strawberry Festival at a Glance
When: Saturday, March 2, 9 am – 5 pm, and Sunday, March 3, 9 am – 4 pm
Where: Floral Park, 9530 S. Parkside Avenue, Floral City – 3 miles south of downtown Floral City on US Hwy 41
Cost: Festival Admission is $5 per adult, children 12 and under are free
Parking: On site at Floral Park, or at the Citrus County Auditorium located at 3610 S. Florida Ave, Inverness. Free shuttle buses from the auditorium are running all day, both days
Facebook: Search for “Floral City Strawberry Festival”
Telephone for Citrus County Chamber of Commerce: 352-795-3149
Little Miss and Miss Strawberry Princess Pageants
On Saturday morning, the festival opens with the Miss Strawberry Princess Pageants for girls aged 4 – 6, and 7 – 12, a festival tradition going back to the early days of the event. This special pageant is designed to be fun and enjoyable for the whole family and to help children build self-esteem. It is not a highly competitive event. Applications to participate are on the Strawberry Festival website at www.GoStrawberryFest.com.
Presenting: Insight Credit Union [insert logo]
Stage: Crystal Automotive, Motorcycle and Tractor Group [insert logo]
EmiSunshine Presenting Sponsor: Duke Energy [insert logo]
Arts For the Schools: Duke Energy, Suncoast Credit Union
Pie-Eating Contest: Joe’s Family Restaurant,
Media: Citrus County Chronicle, Tampa Bay Times, Digital Hound Media, HomeTown Values, WXJB 99.9 FM