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Opening Weekend at the 77th Annual Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City

Florida Strawberry Festival
Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Date: March 1 - 11, 2012
Click here for a festival map
Click here for directions

See Florida at its best: ripe, covered in chocolate and set to music. Sweet delectable strawberries dipped in chocolate, fried and smothered in mouthwatering whipped cream are just the beginning of the Florida Strawberry Festival. Great southern food, hand crafts dedicated to the luscious red fruit, live musical performances, thrilling amusement rides and an array of farm animals keep visitors returning to the Strawberry Festival each year.

Kandu Magic Show

Price: Free with paid gate admission
Time: 11:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.;Sat to Sun - 1:30 p.m.
Click here for schedule.

The Kandu Magic Show features Kandu and Jill the Music Lady as they use a variety of eye catching and dazzling techniques to keep kids and families entertained. The husband and wife team of Jeff and Jill Eaton combine comedy, music, and magic to create an event like none other. This is one magic show the children will not want to miss. Arrive early to get a good seat and be prepared. The Kandu Magic Show is big on audience participation and they may invite you to join in the act.

Florida Strawberry Festival - pigraces
Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Robinson's Racing Pigs

Price: Free with paid gate admission
Time: Daily - 11a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m.; 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Click here for schedule.

The Florida famous Robinson's Racing Pigs will make their appearance at the Florida Strawberry Festival where they are certain to delight families and children with their fun loving antics. The pigs will entertain daily and are located at the east end of the fairgrounds. One of the highlights is watching the pigs as they participate in a swimming competition with a final dive into a 24-foot swimming pool. The show is known as "The Paddling Porker Show" and the pigs compete for the grand prize: an Oreo cookie. Robinson's Racing Pigs are one of the nation's most popular fair and festival attractions.

Related: Best Day Trips for Families Around Tampa

Mountain Dew Family Day 

Price: Ride unlimited at the Midway for $25, $20 with a Mountain Dew can. Midway price is in addition to paid gate admission
Date: March 4, 2012
Time: All day 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Click here for schedule.

The Florida Strawberry Festival has plenty of events to entertain, but for many, the highlight of the event is spending time at the Midway. On Mountain Dew Family Day, a wristband enables wearers to ride unlimited from open to close. Those who bring in a Mountain Dew can will get an additional $5 off the wristband. The discount is not applicable to gate admission fees. Only one Mountain Dew can discount and wristband per person.

Sea Lion Splash Show

Price: Free with paid gate admission
Time: 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Click here for schedule.

The Sea Lion Splash Show is not to be missed and is certain to be a highlight for animal lovers of all ages. The only traveling sea lion show nationwide; the event is the perfect activity for families. Spectators will get an up-close look and have the ability to watch sea lions as they interact in their natural environment. The show runs daily but you will want to arrive early to ensure the best seat.

Livestock Shows (including rabbits and poultry)

Price: Free with paid gate admission
Time: Daily 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Click here for schedule.

Livestock shows are held throughout the duration of the Florida Strawberry Festival. Walk through animal exhibits that feature rabbits, poultry, and exotic animals. The livestock shows are an excellent way to introduce young children to various farm animals. They also give visitors the opportunity to see the best in show and award winning breeds. Bring hand sanitizer to ensure safety after walking through the live animal displays.

Related: Strawberry Festival Concert lineup

Charisse Van Horn is a successful freelance writer who has written for numerous genres including investigative journalism and grant writing. She volunteers her time for causes such as homelessness, domestic abuse and the rehabilitation of those who've been incarcerated. See her work at <a href=""></a>

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