Free orange juice is set to return to state welcome centers next month.
On Wednesday, the Florida Citrus Commission approved a $250,000 contract with Visit Florida to start offering juice on July 1.
Department of Citrus paperwork said the purpose of offering orange or grapefruit juice to visitors is “to increase awareness of the Florida citrus industry and its products.”
The freebie went dry last July, eliminated as the department made $4.1 million in cuts to promotional funding.
But lawmakers this year got an assurance from the department that if $5 million was restored for promotional efforts, it would have enough money to restore juice at welcome centers.
The commission approval came two days after welcome centers along Interstate 10 near Pensacola and Interstate 75 near Lake City were reopened from a coronavirus-caused closure, with the state providing free face masks to visitors.
Still not open is a welcome center along Interstate 95 and a Visit Florida kiosk inside the Florida Capitol, which remains closed to walkup visitors.
Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.