“Yes, it points to the recent win we achieved in naming strawberry shortcake as Florida’s official dessert as we’re a little partial to the berry,” said President Paul Davis. “We’re excited about this year’s event and look forward to sharing in the celebration of the shortcake dessert that has come to make us so successful!”
A new theme is created for each year’s festival to offer patrons a glimpse of the experience they will have at the 11-day event. It also unifies vendors, FFA chapters, organizations, corporate partners and exhibitors, who create parade floats and displays throughout the event.
The Festival’s strawberry character featured in each year’s theme artwork is an iconic part of the event’s branding and advertising efforts. In this theme’s artwork, he wears a sweatband, waves a #BerryFest23 baton and holds a plate of strawberry shortcake as he crosses the finish line.
This past year, state Rep. Lawrence McClure and state Sen. Danny Burgess filed a bill to designate strawberry shortcake as the state’s official dessert. Earlier this year, Gov. DeSantis visited the Festival grounds to officially sign the bill into law. Many local producers of strawberries, vegetables and cattle, along with Festival executives, City of Plant City officials and local law enforcement were present at the assembly to witness DeSantis signing bill SB 1006, which took effect July 1, 2022.
“The strawberry industry has an economic impact of more than a billion dollars in the state of Florida,” said Davis. “Plant City is home to roughly 12,000 acres of strawberries and the Festival serves just about 200,000 shortcakes each year. We’re proud of our city and the Florida strawberry. It’s kind of a big deal around here!”
About the Florida Strawberry Festival
The Florida Strawberry Festival is an 11-day community event celebrating the strawberry harvest of Eastern Hillsborough County. Each year, nearly 500,000 visitors enjoy the Festival’s headline entertainment, youth livestock shows, exhibits of commerce and, of course, its strawberry shortcake. The 2023 Florida Strawberry Festival takes place March 2-12 in Plant City, Florida. For more information, visit www.flstrawberryfestival.com, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (#berryfest23).