- Chip Weiner
- United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack pays a visit to the St. Clements Catholic Church strawberry shortcake booth. The exhibit has been a part of the strawberry festival for over 40 years. Vilsack was given a flat of specially selected strawberries from Parkesdale farm and then sampled shortcake Plant City style
The 2013 Florida Strawberry Festival began Thursday and runs for 11 days. The event takes place in Plant City, the winter strawberry capital of the world according to the city's website. The Florida Strawberries Growers Association says the sweet fruit is available from December through April every year and is grown on approximately 8000 acres around Florida.
- Strawberry shortcake is what it's all about. It's really more strawberries and whipped cream than shortcake. In the "make your own" exhibit, you are given a choice of a biscuit (the tradition for 40 years) or shortcake (those yellow round hollowed out pieces of cake that you get at the store) and then sent through the line. You can add as many strawberries and as much whipped cream as you like. At the end of the line you will be given a fresh "topper" berry and it comes out looking like this.