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Plant City's Strawberries Have Their Days In The Sun

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The 55th annual festival (officially billed as the Florida Strawberry Festival and Hillsborough County Fair) will feature name music acts, a midway and agricultural exhibits - but the main attraction for many visitors is the strawberry.

At the festival, strawberry fans can get their fill of shortcake (sweet-biscuit shortcake, crisp-biscuit shortcake or cake shortcake) - all of them topped with the red berries that grow in abundance around Plant City. In addition, festivalgoers can take home strawberries by the box or the flat.

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The festival also sponsors a Strawberry Recipe Contest - with finals to be held from 2 to 4 p.m. March 8 at the festival's Arthur Boring Building.

As usual, the Strawberry Festival has put together a quality lineup of musical acts, each of which will perform in 5 and 8 p.m. concerts on the main stage of the stadium. (Shows are included in festival admission although reserved seating is available for some concerts at a cost of $5 extra.) This year's stars will include Loretta Lynn on opening day Thursday; Brenda Lee and Jerry Clower, next Friday; Ricky Skaggs, March 3; Tanya Tucker, March 4; Charlie Daniels Band, March 5; Vern Gosdin, March 6; Sawyer Brown, March 7; Waylon Jennings, March 8; Bobby Vinton, March 9; Kathy Mattea, March 10; and George Strait, March 11.

In addition, there will be shows featuring Myron Floren and His Orchestra (10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. next Friday); the Shoppe, a country group (11 a.m. and 1 p.m. shows March 4-7); the Waycross Express, another country group (shows at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. March 8 and 11); and Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra, polka music (10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 9).

Among new attractions at this year's festival are an exhibition hall under the west side of the grandstand bleachers; three new thrill rides on the midway (the Kamikaze, the Majestic Scooter and the Krazy Dance); and Jethro P. Hogg, an animated pig that will perform and answer questions.

The festival will open at 10 a.m. each day. Parking lots around the festival site will be clearly marked, and trams will provide free shuttle service to the gates (the trams will run from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.). The festival will close at 10:30 p.m. daily with the Mighty Bluegrass Shows' midway open until midnight each day. Next Friday and March 9, the midway will be open until 3 a.m. for ''Moonlight Delight.''

Senior-citizens days will be held next Friday and March 9 ($1 off gate admission until 4 p.m. for those age 60 and over). On kids day March 3, those through high-school age will be admitted free until 4 p.m.

The Strawberry Festival Grand Parade will be held at 1 p.m. March 5.


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Source : http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1990-02-23/entertainment/9002223348_1_florida-strawberry-festival-shortcake-march-9

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