The Florida Strawberry Festival runs Thursday through March 13 at 2209 W Oak Ave. in Plant City. Admission $10, $5 ages 6-12, 5 and younger free. Parking is $5, $10-$15 RVs and buses. Stay up on all strawberry-related tastings, merchandise and special events at flstrawberryfestival.com/strawberry-central .
The festival draws big crowds — and heavy traffic on Interstate 4. There's no way to totally avoid it, but you can make it less stressful: Coming from Tampa, take Exit 14 for McIntosh Road or Exit 17 for Branch Forbes Road, go south and then drive east to the festival grounds on U.S. 92. You also can drive farther south and approach on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Senior Citizens Day Thursday and March 10: Guests 60 and older get $2 off regular admission.
Ride-A-Thon Day Thursday and Monday-March 10: Guests ride most mechanical rides for $20.
Moonlight Magic Night Friday and March 11: Guests ride most mechanical rides for $25.
Feeding Florida Day Friday: Present any Publix brand nonperishable food item and get a Fun Pack ride coupon book for $15.
Free Kids Day Saturday: Kids through high school age get free admission.
American Heroes Day Wednesday: All active, reserve and retired military admitted free with ID.
Family Day Sunday and March 13: Present any Fanta or Coca-Cola brand can or bottled product at the gate and get an all-day ride wrist band for $20.
Meet Derrick Brooks: Meet Tampa Bay Buccaneers legend and NFL Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks from noon to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 11 and 13 at the Carolina Carports display.
Youth Parade Day: The 43rd annual parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday and runs down Reynolds Street on the south end of the fairgrounds.
Grand Parade Day: The parade passes the festival grounds at around 2 p.m. Monday.
Other entertainment every day includes Dennis Lee, Branch and Dean, the Belmont Magic Show, Circus Incredible, Maximus G, racing pigs, paddling porkers, cow milking, strawberry production exhibit, a pioneer village and Indian World.