If you’ve been reading our fair adventures in order, you would know that this is the third fair we’ve visited within a two week period (after the Florida State Fair and the Osceola County Fair). We’ve had really good luck with the previous fairs, visiting at what seemed to be a perfect time where it wasn’t too crowded.
The odds were not in our favor when we came to the Plant City Strawberry Festival on a Saturday afternoon. This place was packed right the hell out. I got frustrated with the crowd really quickly and kind of shut down for a while.
It’s not just that it was crowded – it was a disorganized crowd. The (long) lines for rides weren’t properly maintained, so just throngs of people would be standing around in the midways making it really difficult to get around. I’m not exaggerating when I say I was very close to noping out of the whole affair.
And honestly, can you blame me? What the hell is going on with all this trash by a ride exit? This is the sloppiest setup I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been to Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom (sick 8 year old burn there, bruh).
According to the Wikipedia page, this fair draws a larger crowd than the Florida State Fair (but this is Florida, and you know how we are at counting). I have to imagine that it’s because they seem to really go all out attracting larger artists to perform. This year alone, they had Reba McEntyre, the Oak Ridge Boys, and Engelbert Humperdinck (calm down, spellcheck). Previous years have attracted Willie Nelson, Demi Lovoto, and Taylor freaking Swift.
Yeah, whatever. I’m just here for the food.
But they don’t make it easy. The thing about this festival that really drew us in was that there was supposed to be special foodstuffs that used strawberries. You would think they’d make it easy to find that stuff, right?
Wrong. We had to look up the locations of the stands with the special stuff on our phones, and even then we were only given cryptic instructions like “the stall is on the west side of the grounds.”
GIVE ME A MAP, PEOPLE. DON’T MAKE ME BUST OUT A GD COMPASS!
Okay, so the sun is over that way and casting a shadow this way, so therefore I should go which way now (see, these directions are actually useless because I don’t know the overall layout of the place. The fairgrounds here are kind of sprawling, and it’s hard to know if you’re on the western edge of the whole thing or if you’re just on the western edge of one particular outcropping. This is confusing. We eventually figured it out (spoiler, one of the specialty stalls is right behind me).
This is an open-faced strawberry jam meatball sandwich. It was almost good enough to make up for all the goofy hoops we had to jump through to find it.
We were warned ahead of time that they don’t do strawberry shortcake like we’re used to. We were told that they used biscuits instead of angel food cake. That didn’t seem to be the case with the basic strawberry shortcake we got from a local high school band’s stall. Their shortcake was fantastic.
You know, I’ve seen one of these crazy hot dog figures at Dollywood. I found it bothersome, as on some level the hot dog has to know that by covering himself in a condiment, he is inviting someone to consume him.
But HOLY SHIT this guy is a waking nightmare. He’s literally pulling fries OUT OF HIS HEAD and eating them. If he looked like Ray Liotta, I would think we were watching Hannibal (the so-so movie, not the superb NBC series). What is he trying to communicate? “Please eat me, for I am delicious?” If your kids don’t have nightmares about this, you need to check their browser history because they’re clearly watching some sick stuff.
Alright, props to Fred’s Market for bringing some quality Strawberry game. In addition to Strawberry Cobbler, they also had Strawberry BBQ Tacos!
Pretty darn tasty. I actually want to go check this place out sometime (unfortunately, our list of “places to eat in Central Florida” is obscenely long, so it may be a while before we find ourselves at one of their locations).