'Holy Macaroni': Florida Strawberry Festival releases new food lineup

This annual event celebration runs from March 3 to13 in Plant City.

click to enlarge Apple fry sundae with strawberry compote, vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries and whipped cream over crispy apple fries . - FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL / FACEBOOK
Florida Strawberry Festival / Facebook
Apple fry sundae with strawberry compote, vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries and whipped cream over crispy apple fries .
Some folks go to the Florida Strawberry Festival for the live music and attractions, while others make the drive to Plant City for some of the best fair food in Tampa Bay.

The organizers of 2022’s Strawberry Festival just released the food lineup for this year’s celebration, and it’s chock full of strawberry-forward bites, vegan and vegetarian options, and greasy, good-for-the soul dishes.
Among the savory options are the applewood jackfruit sandwich, fried mac and cheese balls, buffalo cauliflower macaroni & cheese crunch wraps and the “holy macaroni”—a decadent mac and cheese topped with your choice of veggies, meat or seafood.

Specialty sweet offerings include the bright-red strawberry key lime funnel cake and the strawberry southern comfort sundae— loaded with sweet potato ice cream, torched marshmallows, candied bacon and waffle pieces. Other sweet treats include cake pops,  the festival's beloved strawberry shortcake, chocolate strawberry fudge, cupcakes and brownies.

The strawberry slaw-topped hot dog aka the “berry dog” marries the world of sweet and salty together, while apple fry sundae gives an a la mode twist to the festival’s iconic apple fries—complete with layers of strawberry compote, vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

Besides the expected soda, tea and lemonade that you can purchase throughout the festival grounds, are this year’s speciality drinks—creamy strawberry lemonade and strawberry piña colada smoothie.

The specific locations of the vendors behind these new items can be found in this press release on the Florida Strawberry Festival website.

Along with the specialty food announcement came another round of free entertainment— which includes Sarasota-based band Brake Fail, singer-songwriter Kirstie Kraus, Branson Missouri’s “The Doug Gabriel Family Show,” and Americana artist Jessica Lynn Witty. Other free entertainment options include access to all eating contests, livestock shows, and exhibits throughout the festival grounds.

And of course, this year’s headliners—which require a separate ticket—include Lady A, The Beach Boys, BoyZ II Men, Nelly, Sam Hunt and Kenzie Wheeler, alongside many other artists.

For more information about this year’s Strawberry Festival, visit its website at flstrawberryfestival.com.