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Florida Strawberry Festival
Plant City Observer Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 7 months ago

Ask a "Redcoat"

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Florida Strawberry Festival directors share their thoughts on their favorite event of the year.

Sandee Sytsma

How would you convince a stranger to go to the festival?
I’d convince them there is something for everyone in their family.

What question are you most often asked by out-of-towners?
“How do y’all get the whole town to ‘participate’ in the Strawberry Festival?”

What’s your favorite thing to do at the festival?
To walk around and hug old friends I haven’t seen since the last festival. 

 

Dan Walden

If you had to convince a total stranger to go to the festival, how would you do it?
We have strawberries prepared every way you can imagine. Free on-ground entertainment, rides...and much, much more.

What question are you most often asked by festival-goers from out of town?
“Where are the shortcake booths?“

What’s your favorite thing to do at the festival?
I enjoy seeing old friends and making new ones.

 

Jim Jeffries

If you had to convince a total stranger to go to the festival, how would you do it? 
Inform him/her that there is no entertainment event that offers so much for the cost — including great free on-grounds entertainment, FFA and other agricultural exhibits, vendors...though the Festival has grown, it is still small enough that all areas can be visited in one day.  

What question are you most often asked by festival-goers from out of town?
"Where is the livestock area and in particular, where are the poultry and rabbits?"

What’s your favorite thing to do at the festival?
Since I am a retired agricultural teacher, I enjoy volunteering in the youth livestock and plant exhibit areas and helping with the shows there. 

 

Rhett Rollyson

If you had to convince a total stranger to go to the festival, how would you do it? 
 I would say, "if over half a million people attend yearly, those folks must know something and it's probably worth a try.”

What question are you most often asked by festival-goers from out of town? 
“How in the world do you guys put this type of an event together? I was expecting something hokey, not something this impressive.”

What’s your favorite thing to do at the festival? 
Watching Bobo in the dunk tank is always at the top of the list.

 

Mike Sparkman

If you had to convince a total stranger to go to the festival, how would you do it? 
Tell them how much fun it is with great food. Importantly, it is a family-friendly festival.

What question are you most often asked by festival-goers from out of town?
How many people attend each year. When I tell them over 500,000 people they are shocked, as that is over 10 times our city’s population of 40,000 people.

What’s your favorite thing to do at the festival?
What all the guests come for: eat strawberry shortcake.

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