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Floral City blooms for annual strawberry fest

When spring weather arrives and flowers begin to bloom, it's time for the Floral City Strawberry Festival.

The seventh annual festival, sponsored by the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce, starts at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at Floral Park on U.S. 41.

Betty Pleacher, executive director of the chamber, said 24,000 visitors attended last year's gala, and she hopes to see at least 30,000 this year.

The festival, which is intended to highlight the economic effect strawberries have made on the small rural community, features a smorgasbord of dishes, including fresh and chocolate-dipped strawberries, shortcake and pies.

More than 100 arts, crafts and food booths will be set up, and there will be an antique car show, pony rides, a pie-eating contest and a Little Miss Strawberry Princess Pageant.

The festival includes live entertainment, ranging from jazz and gospel to country and contemporary. There will be performances by a barbershop quartet, the Riverland Cloggers and the Citrus Community Band.

If you go

What: Seventh annual Floral City Strawberry Festival

When: Begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Floral Park on U.S. 41, about 2 miles north of Floral City.

Cost: $2 for adults. Children 12 and under free.

Information: Call (904) 726-2801 or visit the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce.