If you’ve never been to the Florida Strawberry Festival and are wondering how you’re ever going to find parking with hundreds of thousands of people showing up throughout the 11 days, don’t worry — there are legit parking opportunities everywhere you look.
A list of things that make the Florida Strawberry Festival unique compared to other large festivals would be rather long, but one thing you’d find near the top is the level of involvement the Plant City community at large has with making it happen every year.
In addition to the festival staff, there’s a network of more than 2,000 volunteers waiting in the wings every year to spend their time helping out on the grounds. Sometimes that’s the vacation time they requested from their jobs.
And in addition to the volunteers who make things happen on the grounds, there are also the residents and businesses of Plant City that use their space off the grounds to help people like you get there.
Do not be alarmed at the idea of parking at some business’s lot or in someone’s yard (if they’ve clearly marked it as festival parking, that is). Not only is it legitimate, it’s also encouraged by the festival itself. It’s a decades-long practice that gets you the parking space you need and gets the people managing the parking areas a nice chunk of change. That helps a lot of residents come tax season, and you’ll also occasionally see parking money get pumped back into the community for charity work and other acts of service.
If you do choose to park in one of the festival’s many lots and don’t feel up for a long walk, know that the tram service will still be up and running this year. The festival has installed plexiglass dividers between each seat to keep passengers — as well as the tram volunteers — safe. The plexiglass is just the first of many alterations the festival has in place, but is a strong reminder that this truly has been a year unlike any other.
No matter where you park, make a note of the exact location and make sure you take the proper precautions to safeguard any valuables and other belongings you may have in your vehicle. Lock your doors, roll up the windows, hide your stuff and enjoy the peace of mind. Please don’t end up on our weekly list of police reports.