Did y’all know that I was born and raised in the Winter Strawberry Capital of the WORLD?! That’s right! Plant City, Florida! And in case you don’t know where that is…here ya go:
This time of the year (January through March) is one of my favorite times in my hometown. When driving through the country, all of the fields are full of the short, dark-green-with-pops-of-red plants that are STRAWBERRIES.
And if you get stuck in a traffic jam, it’s probably because you’re behind a truck carrying flats of strawberries. (The negative is that they go slow. The positive is that your car smells AMAZING!)
And in February and March (this year, February 26 – March 8 specifically) the annual Florida Strawberry Festival is held! Now, this is no little small-town gathering – it’s a huge deal! You can CLICK HERE to visit the Strawberry Festival’s website and see – with headline entertainment like John Legend, Reba McIntyre, and Hunter Hayes, it’s a very busy event, full of fun for the whole family, fantastic music, awesome rides and displays and contests, and all things STRAWBERRY.
So when I realized that this Friday (January 23) was National Pie Day, it dawned on me (and my husband STRONGLY agreed) that I had not made a Strawberry Pie yet this season. In fact, he pointed out, “You haven’t made strawberry ANYTHING yet? What gives?!” (Did I mention that he was born and raised in Plant City, too?! It’s in the blood, folks!)
Well, it’s that time again! I’m prepping for this year’s Florida Strawberry Festival!
The Florida Strawberry Festival is held each year in Plant City, which is the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World, believe it or not, and features entertainment (like Little Big Town and Rascal Flatts), exhibits, rides, and TONS of competitions. Competitions from the Strawberry Queen pageant, all the way through agriculture, right on down to crafts and baked goods. You can visit their website HERE for more info!
I’ve been attending the Festival since I was…well…since I was! HA! The hubby and I actually have been working the information booth as volunteers there for years. And I’ve always wanted to participate in some of the competitions, but I was never able to…until last year.
Last year I entered Strawberry Shortcake Cookies into the Neighborhood Village Baking Competition in the cookie category, and I won second place! I was beside myself! (And I blogged about it HERE, in case you want to check it out! This was over on the OLD blog!)
If you followed me on the other blog, you’ll remember this post: Treats & Tries. (It was my first attempt at baking for and entering in the Baking Competition at the Florida Strawberry Festival!)
Well, believe it or not (and I can’t hardly believe it, ha!) I actually won second place for my Strawberry Shortcake Cookies! Really!!!
We finally went to the Festival yesterday, and I was able to see them on display – it was pretty neat!
Kind of hard to see them through the glass-glare, but that’s them! (And my lovely reflection as I poised with my iPhone to capture them…and my hubby’s reflection…as he was obviously interested in something else!) Notice the mold growing on them already? HA! (It had been almost two weeks since I turned them in!)
I’ve been a fan of Strawberry Shortcake every since I can remember! (Which is when I was about 2 years old and my room was completely decorated in Strawberry Shortcake!) Look familiar?
In all honesty, I started this post to talk about the kind of Strawberry Shortcake that you eat =)