PLANT CITY, Fla. (Feb. 22, 2023) –The Florida Strawberry Festival announced today the new food items, vendors and free entertainment guests can expect at the 2023 event.
Musicians, water shows, exhibits, magicians, big wheels and so much more comprise this year’s lineup of new free entertainment. An assortment of hearty eats and sweet strawberry treats top the list of new foods.
“New food, new entertainment, new rides, new vendors, and our new Special Smiles Day event – this year is exceptional,” said Florida Strawberry Festival President Paul Davis. “Many vendors have brought back their staple food items, we all know King Strawberry Shortcake is paramount, and the southern hospitality here can’t be beat! BerryFest23 will be one for the books.”
The lineup of new attractions and free entertainment are as follows:
The Berry Big Wheel
The Berry Big Wheel features 36 fully enclosed, colorful gondolas, each holding up to six riders and accessible seating is available. The wheel spins happy riders for a full ten minutes, and costs $7 per person. Weighing 400,000 pounds and towering 15 stories high, the wheel is strung with 528,000 eye-catching, vibrant, energy-saving LED lights. The Berry Big Wheel is located on East Independent, near Neighborhood Village.
The Dirty Janes
The Dirty Janes emerge seasoned with several major festival appearances under their belt, having played with names like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, Elle King, and The Allman Betts Band. With a full-length album under way, Clearwater’s renowned Clear Track Studios has become a second home for the group. It will be their first release under their new name and is expected to hit both platforms and shelves this year. The Dirty Janes will be performing in the Publix Showcase Tent on Saturday, March 4 at 6 p.m.
The Colleen Orender Band
Nashville Recording Artist Colleen Orender’s new music is a sultry jazz dream with pop sensibilities and a touch of James Bond. A touring jazz and blues artist for decades, Orender turns your hometown venues into smoldering 1930’s Mississippi juke joints. She teamed up with Michael Davey in Nashville to produce her new sound that many are comparing to Amy Winehouse with Julie London’s essence. We see a new genre stand on its own, the Sophisticated Pop of the decade. The Colleen Orender Band will be performing on the Publix Showcase Tent at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 5.
Martin & Kelly
The incredibly talented duo of Jilly Martin and Ryan Brooks Kelly have become the next must-see act from New England to Nashville. Over the years, they’ve been featured as support acts for many traditional, and mainstream country artists. Standouts in today’s crossover country music scene, Jilly & Ryan’s songs bridge the boundary between traditional and new country. They’ve made their mark with highly-acclaimed original music and are winning over audiences everywhere they perform. Jilly and Ryan’s compelling song-writing, dynamic vocal harmonies and stunning musicianship have them poised for a breakthrough in the music industry.
Martin & Kelly will be performing in the Publix Showcase Tent on Wednesday, March 8 at 6 p.m.
Rockland Road is a street just outside Nashville. It’s a studio where countless hit records have been recorded. It’s a crossroads where country, gospel, pop, R&B and Americana music has coexisted and thrived for years. It is also a vocal-driven, melodic band with a signature sound as rich and authentic as its namesake. Rockland Road is six musicians who share the last name Martin—representing four generations of musical heritage—all vocalists who among them play 23 different instruments. It is a powerhouse group featuring soulful vocals imbued with a pure, exuberant joy worthy of the talented blood that flows through this family’s veins. Rockland Road will be performing in the Entenmann’s Strawberry Tent daily at noon, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Nerveless Nocks Jetpack Flying Water Circus
Incredible demonstrations and stunts as done in the legendary, pioneering, Tommy Bartlett Show. A jet pack is thrust 40-50 ft. in the air. Once high in the air, talented stuntmen perform aerial daredevil turns, flips and breath-taking stunts all inside and above an Olympic size pool. The jet packs are powered by a jet ski with an attached hose, sending them up with an enormous thrust. The show is all accompanied by exciting music and an emcee who explains the mechanics and dangers of the sport and that this is a sport only for professionals. Nerveless Nocks Jetpack Flying Water Circus will be performing near the Carriage House daily at 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
New food items are as follows:
Mrs. E’s Strawberry Freeze
An iced strawberries and cream refresher! A delightful fresh strawberry flavored snowball, coupled with condensed milk and topped with whipped cream and a chocolate dipped strawberry. It tastes as good as it looks! Located at A&M Concessions on Edwards Street.
Very Berry Sugar Waffle
A strawberry flavored sugar waffle dusted with powdered sugar, a heaping mound of fresh strawberry filling, piled high with whipped cream and topped with a fresh strawberry. Located at Fain’s Concession on the Southside of the festival grounds.
Very Berry Battered Corn Dog
A sweet and salty combination that is too delicious to pass up! A berry-battered corndog, deep fried until golden brown and served with a sweet strawberry syrup. Located at the Dessert Factory near Edwards Street on the West side of the festival grounds.
A hunk of sweet cornbread, piled high with a savory helping of slow roasted pulled pork, a dollop of mac-n-cheese with BBQ beans, tangy coleslaw and drizzled with barbeque sauce. Located at Piggy Palace on the Southside of the festival grounds.
Sandy Ann’s Old Fashion Fried Pies
Fried pies just like momma used to make! These light and flaky pies come in a variety of flavors including apple, blueberry and, of course, strawberries and cream. Located at Sandy Ann’s Old Fashion Fried Pies near East Independent.
Fried Oyster-Mushroom Po Boy
A crispy fried oyster-mushroom on a toasted bun topped with lettuce, tomato, pickle and a generous smear of remoulade sauce. This vegan-friendly option comes with a side of seasoned rice and smoked beans. Located at Seasoned Greens near the West end of GT Grandstands.
A langos is a Hungarian deep-fried flatbread. The Best Around has combined their traditional elephant ear batter with this European recipe to make a savory garlic-buttered flatbread, topped with a homemade cream cheese and sour cream blend and sprinkled with real bacon crumbles. Located on the North side of the Entenmann’s Strawberry Tent.
Pumpkin Patch with a Strawberry Twist
Homemade hard pumpkin ice cream garnished with a generous serving of marshmallows and graham cracker crumbles, a maple syrup drizzle and topped with fresh Plant City strawberries. This sweet treat is at Polar Bear Concessions located on East Independent near Neighborhood Village.
New festival vendors are as follows:
Selling a variety of pepper sauces and jellies, Andor Pepper is located in the Parke Exhibit Building.
Showcasing a variety of skateboards, longboards, wheels and so much more, Ascot Drifting is located in the TECO Expo Hall.
Beauty for Ashes
Located in the Advantage Restoration North Exhibit Tent, Beauty for Ashes carries a variety of dessert-inspired scented candles.
Black Sheep Mountain Gourmet
Serving a wide assortment of jams, jellies, BBQ sauces and fruit butters, Black Sheep Mountain Gourmet is located in the Arthur Boring Building.
Specializing in traditional African cultural apparel, as well as baskets and drums, Boal Express is located in the Advantage Restoration North Exhibit Tent.
Choot’em Up Marshmallow Tactical Supply
Showcasing a variety of marshmallow tactical shooters and accessories, this vendor is located in the Entenmann’s Strawberry Tent.
Coast to Coast Beards
Offering a wide variety of beard care products and accessories, including scented shave merchandise for all 50 states, Coast to Coast Beards is located in the Parke Exhibit Building.
Specializing in marionette toys and gifts, Dancing Puppets is located in the Carriage House.
Showcasing a generous selection of crystals, minerals, gems and more, Enchanting Crystals is located in the TECO Expo Hall.
Specializing in Brazilian cowhide rugs, EZ Cowhide is located in the TECO Expo Hall.
Hatcher Hollow carries a wide assortment of solar-powered yard art and is located in the Carriage House.
Specializing in handmade cutting boards, charcuterie boards and so much more, Homestead Kleinotas is located in the TECO Expo Hall.
Showcasing a variety of styles and colors of snap lamps, Infinite Lamps is located in the Parke Exhibit Building.
JLVision sells handmade functional ceramics, stoneware and clay artware and is located in the TECO Expo Hall.
Kit Kat Catnip
Featuring a wide variety of catnip infused mats, blankets, pillows, cat toys and accessories, Kit Kat Catnip is located in the Stadium Exhibit Hall.
Moms and Pops Maple Syrup
They’re well known for their homemade honey, but now offering homemade maple syrup as well! Offering candies, creams and sauces made from their family’s farm, Moms and Pops Maple Syrup is located in the Parke Exhibit Building.
Modern Forestry Soy Candles
Specializing in soy candles, Modern Forestry Soy Candles is located in the Parke Exhibit Building.
A hearty selection of colorful and intricate color-by-number Lego artwork, Photobricks is located in the TECO Expo Hall.
Pat’s Cross Stitch
Handmade appliques stitched to pillows, towels and dolls, Pat’s Cross Stitch is located in the Parke Exhibit Building.
Specializing in photographic reprints, Platinum Expressions is located in the Stadium Exhibit Hall.
A variety of hanging hammock chairs, Net House is located in the Arthur Boring Building near the Southside of the festival grounds.
Selling a variety of cooling neck fans, Ribbon Fair is located in the Stadium Exhibit Hall.
A large assortment of wide brim fishing hats, tumblers and coolers, RDNKN is located in the Parke Exhibit Building.
Sharkteeth Mega Store
Specializing in a large variety of shark teeth and fossil related products Sharkteeth Mega Store is located in the Advantage Restoration North Exhibit Tent.
Tiffany’s Total Nails
Ready to serve you and specializing in all your nail care needs, Tiffany’s Total Nails is located Parke Exhibit Building.
That’s Kool Inc.
Selling an assortment of extremely affordable jewelry, That’s Kool Inc. is located in the Advantage Restoration North Exhibit Tent.
Hand-painted wine glasses for all occasions, Wine Me? is located in the Parke Exhibit Building.
Carrying a wide variety of Crocs and Jibitz, Yehl Ventures is located in the Entenmann’s Strawberry Tent
New special days are:
Special Smiles Day
On Friday, March 3rd, the festival welcomes all individuals with special needs from 9 a.m. to noon. This unique event is reserved for celebrating and serving our most treasured guests in a safe, FUN, and sensory-considerate environment. All Special Smiles VIPs, and one guest, will be admitted FREE. Entry at Gate 5.
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, over 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 will take place March 2 – March 12 in Plant City, Fla. For more information, visit www.flstrawberryfestival.com, Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and Twitter (#BerryFest23).