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Photo TR: The 2014 Florida Strawberry Festival


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Today I had the chance to revisit the Florida Strawberry Festival for the first time since 2011 (you can see my 2011 and 2010 visits by clicking on the respective hyperlinks). And while the formula for this annual success has remained the same since my past trips, there's always something new to see, do and try while at the Festival, along with returning to some old favorites!

 

And for those of you that haven't read trip reports before, I do have to warn you, there are going to be a lot of food photos!

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I'm back!

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This sophisticated map uses large spans of green space to allow guests to clearly and effectively figure out where everything in the festival is.

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5000 Hour Energy?

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There are some interesting things to see here.

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The things nightmares are made of.

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This burger stand is still here, and it still provides the most twisted options ever.

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There were pig races, including races that involved the pigs swimming.

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Probably the most interesting kiddie train I've seen.

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Gator tail! I've had plenty in the past, but this was especially great!

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I was intrigued by the notion of "Gator Sausage." Turns out, it was awesome!

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You read that right. Fried Kool-Aid. Because somehow that's a thing.

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And a freshly made Bloomin' Onion because... Well, why not?

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Rollercoaster Tycoon, anyone?

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Distant relatives of the Catawampus?

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Definitely paid for the license, right?

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I'm sure these would sound better if they were made with Coca-Cola product cans.

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I didn't dare to try these bizarre flavors of funnel cake. Even I have my limits.

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They had a Pinfari again in the midway, but I figured I'd pass this time around.

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Looked decent though...

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It is definitely the biggest ride to be found on this year's midway.

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Don't have a cow, but I'm about to go on an animal tangent with this trip report.

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They're harvesting bunnies for the eventual Bunpocalpyse!

 

And for the sequel: Bunpocalypse vs. Sharknado.

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Do your ears hang low?

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A living pillow pet!

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I'll let you comment for me.

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A ride on the Zamperla Power Surge or a live cow milking demonstration... Choose wisely!

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Neat to see a Freak Out in person.

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Drown the Clown... Klassy family entertainment right here!

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Elissa-friendly rides aplenty here!

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What's this I spy?

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Nice to see a fair-style Haunted House make an appearance too.

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They have a Zipper! And while the temptation to ride it was strong, I figured it'd just be easier to punch myself in the face a few times and call it a day.

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Neat to see a Ring of Fire in this year's lineup too.

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Of course they have a Wacky Worm here.

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And a Dragon Wagon for good measure...

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And the obligatory ferris wheel.

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If there's one thing that the Strawberry Festival is known for, it is the strawberry shortcake.

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In case you were wondering how this works...

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Chool Whippe.

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Yes, we were gluttonous today.

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Fried mushrooms!

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I even had the chance to meet "The Hoppah."

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No words.

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Nightmare inducing.

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So this happened...

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Just wow.

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And look who stopped by to take a photo with me!!!

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In case you were wondering what a strawberry field looks like.

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Strawberries are:

-full of vitamin C

-delicious

-available all winter

-incredibly scary looking

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Isn't a rib kind of already on a stick?

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Take a guess what kind of fried food I subjected myself to...

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If you guessed Deep Fried Reese's, then you'd be correct.

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Our final stop of the day was to nearby Parkesdale Farms, essentially the Disneyland of produce for Florida. They even have their own Matterhorn (seen here)!

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They have a queue set up for their most popular attraction, Strawberry Shortcake!

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But if you're not looking for the immediate bite, you can bypass the line to go shopping!

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These are absolute MUST BUYS! The sweetest, best tasting onions I've ever had. Throw them on the grill, no added spice or sauce needed!

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Heaven is a place on Earth.

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Strawberry Bread. Amazing.

 

Multiple bricks bought.

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But this was the main reason we were here!

 

Seriously folks, if you've not had a chance to do so before, plan to stop in for next year's Strawberry Festival in Plant City, FL!

Edited by jedimaster1227
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^ I don't have a photo of it, but Linnanmaki (Helsinki), our last park on the 2009

Scandi Tour, had one of these as well. And after watching a cycle, I said 'no'.

Others went on, and apparently regreted it afterwards, lol.

 

Sorry for going off-topic, Go Strawberries!

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I don't have a photo of it, but Linnanmaki (Helsinki), our last park on the 2009

Scandi Tour, had one of these as well

 

Linnanmaki owns a HUSS Booster - similar concept but you swing sideways instead of backwards/forwards.

 

There a still some Shaker on our carnival circuit - I guess at least 5 - while I know only 2 Booster that are around.

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There's a couple of Strawberry Festivals by me but they're nothing like this. Just some produce/food/craft vendors and a few crappy kiddie carnival rides. The only good thing about our Strawberry Festivals are the delicious Arroyo Grande and Santa Maria strawberries, which I can get at local farmers market anyways.

 

Cool pics of your Strawberry Festival, which looks more like a fair.

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Great report...always love the carnie/foodie reports. Some of those burger & funnel cake selections looked crazy!

 

I have only tried gator tail once at a restaurant in Daytona Beach on a business trip. Can't say that I enjoyed the taste of those very much, but maybe we just got a bad order? Reminded me of semi-fatty, undercooked chicken with a touch of ocean sand and salt water thrown in for good measure!

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