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Plant City Courier

Strawberry Festival blessed with weather, popular entertainers

Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 01:52 PM

Lisa Cooper credits the weather, in part, for her strong sales at this year's Florida Strawberry Festival.

Plant City's signature festival enjoyed warm temperatures — at times, maybe a little too toasty — during its 11-day run that ended Sunday, Cooper said.

But there was another factor that boosted customer traffic at her booth near the festival's main stage.

"We had a very good lineup of entertainers this year," said Cooper, who was busy Monday morning taking down her Country Corner booth, where she sold handmade quilts and other craft items.

The final attendance figures weren't available, but festival General Manager Paul Davis said he thinks the numbers will at least match last year's record 524,000. Entertainment played a big role, he said.

"We had well over 200,000 for the concerts," Davis said.

For the first time in history, two festival concerts sold out — for shows by country stars Luke Bryan and Reba.

Reba, who hadn't played the venue in several years, closed out the festival with a Sunday night concert. During her show, Reba told the crowd she particularly enjoyed the strawberry shortcake – another of the festival's big draws.

"I've been looking forward to that for months," she said.

dnicholson@tampatrib.com (813) 394-5103

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