The Florida Strawberry Festival is an annual celebration of the sweetest of Florida’s crops: the strawberry. Located just a half hour from downtown Tampa, this festival is on the calendar of most local residents. Each year, visitors gorge themselves on red, juicy deliciousness at this popular festival that features literally tons of strawberry shortcake, strawberry milkshakes and all sorts of other strawberry concoctions. But strawberries are not the only thing that makes the Florida Strawberry Festival unique. The festival is also well known for its yearly concert lineup.
Rascal Flatts headlines this year's Strawberry Festival concert lineup — Photo courtesy of Florida Strawberry Festival
This year, the Florida's Strawberry Festival runs from February 27 through March 9, 2014, and includes two concerts daily for the duration. One concert is held at 3:30 p.m. and one at 7:30 p.m. While the musical acts tend toward the country side, event organizers make sure to include a variety of other musical types to appeal to all audiences.
This year’s non-country headliners include nostalgic performances by '80s rock group Styx and the smooth stylings of R&B act, Boyz II Men. The internationally popular Christian rock group, Third Day, rounds out the non-country lineup.
Country acts playing this year include the very popular Rascal Flatts, who are on their Live and Loud 2014 concert tour. Since 2000, this accomplished trio has released nine albums that have established them firmly in the upper echelon of country music. Other big draws include timeless performers such as Crystal Gayle, Ronnie Milsap, Brenda Lee, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and perennial favorites, The Oak Ridge Boys.
More contemporary and up-and-coming acts include Thompson Square, who won the 2013 Academy of Country Music award for vocal duo of the year. The Band Perry, a trio of siblings whose second album reached the top of the charts last year, is also scheduled to perform. So is Kelly Pickler, who may be best known for her performances as a contestant on American Idol and Dancing with the Stars.
It will probably come as a very pleasant surprise that prices range from $15 to $55 per performance. This is much more reasonably priced than most concert tickets. Strawberry Festival organizers are proud of the festival’s strong community ties, and they make every effort to ensure the affordability of all concerts. It's a good idea to reserve tickets for the more popular concerts, and you can do so online.
For those who are willing to take their chances, there are at least 3,000 free grandstand tickets available for every performance. These seats are available with regular paid admission to the festival and are given out on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the show.
For a complete list of this year’s musical acts, online ticketing and directions, visit the Strawberry Festival website.