Category Archives: Florida Strawberry Festival

More Strawberry Festival Pics/Comments Posted

Hey, so I’ve been busy getting the additional photos posted and putting in some commentary for your enhanced enjoyment. Still haven’t gotten the pics out of the big camera yet, but there’s some good stuff below – enjoy!

UPDATED – ok, I got the pics of the Alan Jackson concert (not a big deal, but still) out of the camera and posted them. Enjoy again!

Bloggus Interruptus (again)

Ah, the stupidity of having one’s own blog develop the belief that one is a spammer – and there’s nothing to be done about it, for such belief will not expire for 24 hours from the time it first developed. So half of yesterday is not yet blogged. I won’t have the opportunity to get the rest of the photos from the Strawberry Festival loaded until this evening, or perhaps even tomorrow; sorry!

End of the evening

Hmm, I wonder if this shot of Mickey and the gang is properly licensed?

All the lights on the midway were very pretty at night; they don’t translate well to pictures, I’m afraid. Below, the sign when we were leaving the Alan Jackson concert. I did take a couple of photos of that, with the band looking like ants on the stage, but they are in the big camera so I’ll have to fish them out at some point….

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Somethin’ tall and strong…. it’s ALAN JACKSON!

The two big screens were used to amuse the crowd prior to the concert. Some member of the audience would be shown alongside a celebrity, often with pretty hilarious results (i.e., the guy who was shown alongside Homer Simpson…). A few minutes after 7:30 PM, the screens started a two minute countdown, and the crowd went crazy!

They started out with “Gone Country”, which is my official Alan Jackson anthem because

I’m a simple girl, myself
Grew up on Long Island…

He hit all the highlights, basically, and came back to do “Mercury” as an encore. He sings with his eyes closed a lot – I guess this only bothers me because I was discouraged from doing it during my own performing arts training. He still sounded good, eyes open or shut! The concert was total about one hour long. I’m glad we went!

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The concert crowd gathers!

Above is the grandstand, aka the free seating. We saw people starting to line up as early as 5:00 PM for the 7:30 PM show. I’m glad we bought tickets instead. It was too damned hot to be lined up for that long in the sun, and then the concert was only an hour. So I would have felt really ornery about standing around for 2.5 hours to see one hour of music from the cheap seats!

More of the crowd gathering – we didn’t have bad seats, considering I only bought them a couple of weeks ago. We still don’t know how there were tickets still available for this event!

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Pre-show entertainment

As mentioned, Chris Cagle’s crew was loading his trailer, which was attached to a big tour bus. Well, it was wedged too damned tightly in between booths and such, and it had a terrible time getting out of the space. Back and forth, back and forth – OY! Well, it was somthing to occupy our attention while waiting to get in to see Alan Jackson.

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The Grease and the Gecko

Chris had a deep-seated need for “those curly fried potato things”, which I admit were good, but they were horribly greasy. The place where she got these was also selling batter-dipped, deep-fried mushrooms, and the guy gave me a free one. It was a freakin’ MOUTHFUL of grease, and I quickly chucked it into the trash.

Meanwhile, exciting things were about to occur near the entrance to the concert arena. The Geico Gecko made a personal appearance! He signed autographs and posed for photos. One of the guys from the Geico tent had a Polaroid camera and took photos, which he then gave to the folks who posed. Fun!

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Celebrity sightings

Late in the afternoon, we spied an Alan Jackson tour rig! Kept peering through the fence, but there was no sign of “something tall and strong” anywhere back there.

Meanwhile, the star of the 3:30 PM concert, Chris Cagle, was signing autographs while his crew was loading the trailer full of his equipment. He was SHORT, which came as a surprise to me.

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Random scenery

In the Sweetbay pavillion, above, there was some sort of beautiful baby contest. I think the baby had to be a Hillsborough County resident. Below, Bubble Gum The Shrimp relaxes in the sunshine after examining the John Deere exhibit.

Lots of fine eating establishments interspersed amongst the exhibits as well as on the midway. One Italian eatery, with statuary out front (pic below), reminded me of Italian feasts back home in New York.

Our model, the lovely Christene

Chris wants to know why SHE is always the one that has to model dumb hats and princess accessories, etc. Well, cause I’m the one with the camera in my hand already, that’s why!

I think she bought the above t-shirt for Jon. Meanwhile, I cracked up at the one below!

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More crafty things

Above we’ve got some very creative uses for dried starfish!

I’ve got LOADS of cockles, matched sets even – and I never thought of using them to make bunnies!

I definitely want to make a shell nightlight someday. I think a pear whelk or paper fig makes a good “lamp shade” but we can’t figure out how they make the paper fig so sturdy-feeling. I’m thinking Elmer’s glue and water, brushed on – maybe a few coats?

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Crafty stuff

We both bought some Native American trinkets while listening to the band, and then headed over in this direction to see some crafty stuff. Above, a suncatcher like the one I gave to Gary.

Look at all those SHELLS!

We thought Kim would be interested in knowing that her beloved fan shells have another name – Irish Flats!

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Native music and dance

We stopped to listen a while to a band that played Peruvian-type music. They sounded pretty much like Agua Clara, a Peruvian group that plays in Penn Station and Rockefeller Center and such in NYC.

Chris thought this guy, dancing to the Peruvian music, looked like a Seminole.

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Sculptured leather stuff

The proprietor was really nervous about the picture-taking. Surprisingly, a lot of these vendors do not have a web site through which they sell stuff. I don’t know why they wouldn’t – have to be lots of people like me who don’t want to schlep purchases around the fair all day, and would prefer to order and have it delivered home.

Seffner, Florida

The rendezvous is a Hardees in Seffner, Florida on US 92. There’s a sign nearby that says “Plant City 11 miles”. So here I am just waiting on Chris. I didn’t think to take a photo, but the gas at that station is $3.15/gallon for regular. Hearing it will hit $4 this summer….

Florida State Fairgrounds

I never realized I was passing this all these times I’ve taken this road. Good to know where the state fairgrounds are, but I don’t know that I would attend, unless I could coordinate with a day at the Tampa offices like I did this time.

Goin’ to the Strawberry Festival!

OK, so I’m leaving a little later than I said I would. I’m off to meet Christene at the Strawberry Festival, in Plant City, Florida. We’re gonna tramp around and eat strawberries and see the sights, and then we’re gonna go to the Alan Jackson concert in the evening. Let’s go, we’re burnin’ daylight!