REO Speedwagon to play ... the Florida Strawberry Festival?!?
I hope the gang in REO Speedwagon are a bunch of Tough Guys. Because our fave '80s arena rockers are booked to play the Florida Strawberry Festival on March 11. And if the typical country-lovin' crowd there isn't ready to Roll with the Changes, it could be One Lonely Night for the boys from Illinois.
(Is there a record for number of REO song titles used in a story about agricultural festivals? Did I win anything?)
The Strawberry Festival is actually a big dealio here in Tampa Bay -- for a certain segment of the population anyway. It goes on for about two weeks just as strawberry season descends upon the state and features no less than 2 bazillion strawberry shortcake stands. And as you can see from the above photo, the outdoor concert venue in Plant City -- expect temps in the 80s that time of year here -- is formidable.
Still, booking REO Speedwagon for the Strawberry Festival seems like an odd fit. Sure, there's usually a retro act on the bill, but normally it's not a band that just played to a huge crowd at the Ford Amphitheater back in late October. And it's definitely an area of Tampa Bay leans more toward Mel Tillis and Roy Clark, two other names playing the festival.
Still, I won't quibble about ticket prices of $15 and $20. Just promise me I won't get dragged to the free exhibitions by Robinson's Racing Pigs. I'm not even close to kidding.