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Best Things to Know About the Strawberry Festival

By Barbara Ann Kelley, CBSTampa.com
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Fresh Florida Strawberries (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)

Fresh Florida Strawberries (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)

The Strawberry Festival in Plant City is one of the best festivals in America and for many in Tampa Bay their favorite time of year. This annual festival welcomes around a half a million visitors during its 11 day run. We have gathered a list of the best things you should to know about hours, ticket prices, special events and discounts.

Strawberry Festival

303 N. Lemon Street
Plant City, Florida 33563
813-754-9194

Dates:  March  1 – 11, 2012
Hours:  10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
General admission at the gate: Adults 13 and up $10. Children 6-13. Children 5 and under free.

Discount admission tickets are available at participating Sweetbay stores that will save you $2 on adult tickets and $1 on children’s. Here is the link to find a participating Sweetbay nearest you.

Rides: 85 different rides on the midway. Some of the newest rides are:

Speed –Speed is the key to this 120 foot thrill ride.
Log Flume – This white water log ride has made its way back to the Strawberry Festival.
Space Roller – Only of its kind is the United States.
Magnum – One of a kind in the USA appearing for the second year.

The Midway opens daily at 12 noon except on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, when it opens at 10:00 a.m.

The Kiddie Corral rides open at 10:00 a.m. and closes at 10:00 p.m. Located near Gate 5 at the east end of the Festival grounds, this is a ride center geared for the younger set.

Thursday March 1st

Senior Citizens’ Day is opening day, Thursday March 1st  seniors 60 and older receive $2 off the gate admission for the entire day. There will be special concerts and giveaways for Seniors plus discount prices for ride-all-you-want wristbands.

Headline concerts: Oak Ridge Boys at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 & $20. Gretchen Wilson at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $15 & $20.

Friday, March 2nd

Sweetbay Supermarket Day – Save $2 off the regular price of $20 for a Fun Pack Ride Coupon Book when you present at the festival ticket booth any non-perishable food item from Sweetbay’s “My Essentials” list.

Moonlight Magic – Ride most mechanical rides for one special price of $20.00 per person. All patrons entering the Midway for this event will be required to purchase a $20.00 wristband, 11:00 pm – 3:00 a.m.

Headline concerts: Gatlin Brothers and Crystal Gayle at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 & $20. Demi Lovato at 7:30 p.m. tickets are $30 & $35.

Saturday , March 3rd

Free Kids Day Sponsored by Wells Fargo – Children and teens admission is free from open till close on Saturday.

Headline concerts: Lauren Alaina at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 & $20. Air Supply at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 & $20.

Sunday, March 4th

Mountain Dew Family Day will save you big time if you and the kids want to ride rides until you all drop. From open till 11 p.m. you can buy an all-you-can-ride wrist band for only $25. Bring any Mountain Dew can with you and upon entry and you can get an additional $5 off the $25 wristband. So your total savings on Sunday with the Mountain Drew can is $10 per wristband. This offer is valid only on Sunday March 4th.

5 p.m. – 7 p.m. – The Diaper Derby, Prettiest Girl and Most Handsome Boy contests. For More information go to this link.

Headline concerts: Jake Owen at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 & $20. Hank Williams Jr. at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $50.

Monday, March 5th

Wristband Ride-A-Thon hours are 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. the cost for the band is $19 for all-you-can-ride.

Headline concerts:  Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 & $20. Josh Turner at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 & $30.

Tuesday, March 6th

Red Hat Day is a day where the famous ladies society wearing red hats receive $2 off the $10 gate admission price. A whole day of Red Hat fun is planned.

Ride-A-Thon is from 3 p.m. till 11 p.m. and the wristband will cost $19.

Headline concerts: Brenda Lee at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 & $20. Vince Gill at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35.

Wednesday, March 7th

American Hero’s Day – All active, reserve and retired military and military veterans along with Law Enforcement and First Responders (EMS & Fire Fighters) will be admitted free all day when they show a valid ID.

Ride-A-Thon from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m. A wristband for all-you-can-ride is $19.

Headline concerts: Lee Greenwood/Louise Mandrell at 3:30 p.m. Tickets $15 & $20. The Band Perry at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 & $30.

Thursday, March 8th

The Senior Citizens’ Day – Patrons 60 years of age or older get $2.00 off the gate admission of $10.00 for this day Senior Day at the festival.

Ride-A-Thon from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. A wrist band for all-you-can-ride is $19.

Headline concert: Charlie Daniels Bands at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 & $25. Luke Bryan at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 & $35.

Friday, March 9th

The Tampa Tribune Day on the Midway saves you $2.00 off the regular price of $20.00 for the Fun Pack Ride Coupon Book from 10 am until 10 pm.

Moonlight Magic – Ride most mechanical rides for one special price of $20.00 per person. All patrons entering the Midway for this event will be required to purchase a $20.00 wristband. Hours are 11 p.m. until 3:00 a.m.

Headline concerts: Cornell Gunter’s Coasters/Bobby Hendrick’s Drifters and The Platters at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 & $20. TobyMac at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 & $25.

Saturday, March 10th

Free admission for all farm workers.

9:30 a.m. the 2012 Baby Parade.

Headline concerts: All Star Weekend at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 & $15. Rodney Atkins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 & $25.

Sunday, March 11th

Last Day Of the Strawberry Festival is a  “Dew” Day with a MIDWAY wristband special – Ride all day, 10 a.m. until 11 p.m., for only $25. Bring your Mountain Dew can to the Festival and receive a voucher for $5 off the $25 MIDWAY wristband. You can ride all day for only $20!! Mountain Dew can NOT valid for gate admission. Only ONE can per person.

Headline Concerts:  Easton Corbin at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 & $20. Reba at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $50.

For more information and to buy concert tickets on line.

Some of the free events:

Karaoke Contest – March 1, 2012  Sponsored By: Talent Quest Florida, the Karaoke Contest will take place in the Sweetbay Supermarket Showcase Tent on Thursday, March 1st from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Talent Quest Florida is the world’s largest regional karaoke competition in Tampa, feeding into the national Talent Quest competition held each year in Nevada. Each year singers from throughout the State of Florida compete for a chance to represent Florida at the national Talent Quest singing competition, where they can earn $3,500, a chance to perform in front of music producers and potentially record their own CD. For more information, please visit www.talentquestflorida.com

Robinson’s Racing Pigs and Paddling Porkers – Show times: 11am, noon, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm daily.

The Lizard Lick Towing Krew from truTV
March 8 – March 11, 2012 . Located at the Carolina Carports Inc. “Cover My Ride” Tour Trailer.

Rock-It the Robot
March 5 – March 11, 2012

At 9 feet tall, Rock-It the Robot has dance moves that range from country to HIP-HOP and even has his own Robo-Boogie-Get-Down dancing. With his own brand of comedic humor, Rock-It is a must see at this year’s festival. Show Times: 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

For a complete list of daily scheduled events go to this link.

For entire entertainment schedule click here.

The Strawberry Festival doesn’t allow alcohol or guns on the festival grounds. Remember to check the weather before heading out to Plant City and to bring comfortable walking shoes

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