Florida Strawberry Festival cancels headline entertainment for 2021 event

The Florida Strawberry Festival is still expected to take place next March, but its headline entertainment has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 11-day festival typically hosts 24 concerts in its stadium that seats approximately 9,000 people.

“We are diligently planning to ensure visitors to the 2021 festival can have a safe and fun experience with their families just like they have for 85 years,” said Florida Strawberry Festival President Paul Davis. “This year, we believe it is in the best interest of everyone, guests and entertainers, to not have patrons sitting shoulder to shoulder for an extended period of time.” 

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The festival's other major attractions, including rides, concessions, exhibits and livestock shows are expected to continue at this point, Davis said.

"They are all held either outdoors, in open-air facilities or in areas where guests can move around as they please," a statement from the Florida Strawberry Festival read. "Whether there will be any changes or additional safety guidelines for these areas is still being determined."

The festival's entertainment committee said it instead plans to offer more on-grounds entertainment in response to the change.

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“We have met with the Hillsborough County Health Department along with local and state officials to ensure we’re up to date with the latest guidelines and recommendations and will continue to do that leading up to the 2021 event,” said Davis. “Everyone we have met with feels confident that the plan we’re developing for our festival this year will be safe and effective.”