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Plant City Strawberry Festival tops last year in visitors, revenue

Jacob Taylor, 6, gets help from his mother, Celia Taylor, and support from the Strawberry Festival queen and court in a strawberry-stemming contest March 5.

JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times

Jacob Taylor, 6, gets help from his mother, Celia Taylor, and support from the Strawberry Festival queen and court in a strawberry-stemming contest March 5.

PLANT CITY — Fair weather and rollicking musical acts brought more than half a million visitors through the gates of the Florida Strawberry Festival last month, festival officials said.

Numbers released last week estimated total attendance at 525,300 for the city's marquee event, which ran March 1 to March 11, said KeeLee Tomlinson, a festival public relations and media representative.

That's up about 1,300 visitors from last year, she said.

"We had outstanding headline entertainment this year," Tomlinson said, citing sold-out shows for country singers Reba McEntire and Luke Bryan — the first double sell-out in festival history.

Of the total attendance, Tomlinson said some 200,000 people turned out for the festival's main-stage acts.

The higher attendance came with a 12 percent increase in gross revenues over last year's numbers, Tomlinson said, though she declined to provide more specific figures.

Stephanie Wang, Times Staff Writer

Plant City Strawberry Festival tops last year in visitors, revenue 03/31/12 [Last modified: Saturday, March 31, 2012 4:31am]
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