As we head into this week, many in Plant City, Florida, my hometown in eastern Hillsborough County and the winter strawberry capital of the world, are readying for the Florida Strawberry Festival March 2-12, 2023. The Strawberry Festival home page says “Each year, the Florida Strawberry Festival® hosts world-famous headline entertainment from all over the globe. We work hard to provide our guests with a fresh festival experience each and every year by securing award-winning performers fit for guests of all ages. We look forward to seeing you at this year’s event and encourage you to purchase your tickets soon!”
While entertainment from big name stars can be a draw, my childhood memories of the festival span from seeing my school pals “show” their cows and pigs in competitions where winners received stunning ribbons with bright gold lettering. And there were the eating contests where contestants showcase their “berry” best strawberry dishes or even more fun, how much more each of them can eat than the other in one sitting!
Hillsborough County has almost 3,000 farms, many of which are owned by my lifelong pals. Each time I go “home” I make a point to see them, encourage them, brief them on all things agri-politics, and of course, sample their wonderful fruits and vegetables. I hope each of you will add to your bucket list a trip to the Strawberry Festival and let me know you are going. I will meet you there and we will have the best strawberry shortcake in the world served by volunteers – my sister and brother being two of them!
Also coming up this week, on Thursday (February 23) , the Orlando Claims Association (OCA) will be hosting its 11th annual CEU seminar and cook-off. This year, Cassandra “Cassie” Hand-Gallegos, AIC alongside yours truly, Maggie Potter and Autumn George, will be presenting the 620 Adjuster 4 Hour Update Course. The learning is in the morning through midday and the fabulous eating is in the afternoon! Details and registration are on the OCA website. We look forward to seeing you there!
See you on the trail and have a great week!