When the Florida Strawberry Festival was created in 1930, its founders simply wanted to celebrate the area’s annual strawberry harvest.
If they could have seen what the event has grown into today, they undoubtedly would have been amazed.
Members of the Plant City Lions Club made the first festival a reality in 1930, but World War II forced the celebration to take a hiatus from 1942 to 1947. In 1948, thanks to members of American Legion Post No. 26, the festival made a comeback and has been going strong ever since.
What started as a community-centric event grew with the addition of celebrities and well-known performing artists, a trend that started with Dale Evans in 1972 and has blossomed into today’s huge musical lineup.
As the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World celebrates the 80th anniversary of its famous festival, the Plant City Photo Archives & History Center has combed through its collection to find a number of photos to remind the community of its storied past — and how much things have progressed.