Yesterday we scheduled ourselves a day off so that we could enjoy a full day of the Strawberry Festival. This is an annual festival, held the 1st week of March in Plant City, Florida.
We bought discount tickets at Sweetbay Market, and had lunch at subway before we get to the fairgrounds. That turned out to be a good thing, since as soon as we entered the fair, we were bombarded for “fair food” from every direction . . .
italian sausage, sirloin tips, soft pretzels, chocolate-covered bacon . . . not to mention the strawberry shortcake and strawberry shakes!
There were also the full variety of carnival rides,
and the typical “county fair” displays of food & crafts.
There were also several buildings full of flea market type vendors, but we’ve seen enough of those in the past few weeks, so we walked through fairly quickly. We did find the Parkesdale Farm booth, where Tom made me pose as “Strawberry Queen”,
sampled their strawberry cookies (not bad!). There was also a strawberry farm display that explains how the strawberries are planted in such neat raised beds. These tractors that create the raised beds, and cover them with weedblock fabric, are built in Germany, and are VERY expensive!
Tom stopped to have a chat with the farmer,
We got there in plenty of time, though, and found some prime seats at the top of the bleachers near the finish line, where we waited for the show to begin.
Soon enough, the show got started and the pigs were racing!
They were fun to watch, even though “our pig” only won the first race!
They even swam in a pool!
Bryce had his money on the spotted one, but he didn’t win any of the races!
After the racing pigs, we wanted to catch the dog show, but we had some time to kill, so we went to check out the livestock – steers, rabbits and chickens.
I think if I had lived on a farm as a kid, I would have liked to raise a steer . . . except for the fact that they get sold for steaks when you’re done! They are just so cute!
This guy must have known what was coming up, because he was making a lot of noise . . . Tom was trying to talk to him!
We also watched a milking demonstration with Bessie, who travels to schools, educating kids about where their milk comes from and how it gets to the store.
From there, we went back to the dog show, and barely got there in time to get seats . . .the dogs are very popular! It was east to see why once the show began . . . these dogs were really good at their tricks!
It was very windy during the show, so it was pretty impressive that the dogs were able to catch the frisbees at all, let alone jump as high as they did to catch them!
The last trick was a high jump contest between 2 dogs, and they both did really well, but Rock won the contest when he jumped over a bar 56” off the ground . . . and he barely took a running start!
By the time that show was over, we were all pretty cold and tired, so we left and went home for dinner. I would have loved to have gone to one of the evening concerts this week (Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins, and Blake Shelton just to name my favorites!), but we didn’t buy tickets to any of them. Wednesday night was Trace Adkins, but it would have been awfully cold for an outdoor concert!
The Strawberry Festival was fun, and I’m glad we went, but we probably wouldn’t go again . . . it’s pretty much your basic county fair, and you can get any of the strawberry products outside the fair by just going directly to Parkesdale Market. We bought a flat of strawberries on the way home, too, and they are pretty good, but I think the ones we picked in Bonita Springs were fresher and tastier. They tasted good in strawberry shakes, though!