TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Florida Strawberry Festival announced the theme for its 2024 event on Wednesday.
In a news release, organizers revealed the theme for the 89th annual festival is “Out of This World.”
“The sky’s the limit,” Florida Strawberry Festival President Kyle Robinson said. “Our board of directors, staff and maintenance crew have been hard at work this summer planning and preparing an ‘out of this world’ experience for all our guests. We look forward to welcoming visitors from far and wide to BerryFest24!”
The 11-day event is held in Plant City each year to celebrate the local strawberry harvest and the myriad of delicious treats that can be made with them – but mostly the strawberry shortcake. The theme for 2023’s Strawberry Festival was “We Have a Winner!”, in honor of strawberry shortcake becoming the official dessert of Florida.
Gov. Ron DeSantis even visited the festival grounds to officially sign the declaration into law, which took effect July 1, 2022.
The festival also includes a concert series that draws some big names, like 2023’s headliners, Willie Nelson and Lynard Skynard. The event also features youth livestock shows and exhibits of commerce, according to organizers.
“The festival’s atmosphere is like no other,” Robinson said. “Seeing families gather, volunteers serving and the Plant City community coming together year after year is extraordinary. There’s no place on Earth quite like the Florida Strawberry Festival!”
The 2024 Florida Strawberry Festival kicks off Feb. 29 and runs through March 10. You can find more information about the event on the festival’s website.
Next year’s event will sound a bit different than in the past. “The Voice of the Florida Strawberry Festival,” Randy Scott, was killed in a car crash in Manatee County this May.
Scott sang the National Anthem each morning of the festival, and serenaded guests with “Happy Trails” as the event closed each night. His wife, Jill, and her sister, Judy Cook – both also killed in the crash – each volunteered countless hours to support the festival, organizers said earlier this year.
“The loss of these three is going to leave a big hole here at the Strawberry Festival family,” Robinson said in May. “But more than that, it’s our community, it’s Plant City and east Hillsborough County.”