PLANT CITY - Elizabeth Roberts and her daughter Stephanie Spangler wanted to be sure they got great seats to shows by their favorite entertainers at the Florida Strawberry Festival.
So they got in line outside the festival ticket booth nearly 72 hours early.
“We want the best seats. We try to be the first in line,” said Roberts, who lives in Seffner.
Their vigil paid off when sales started at 8 a.m. today. They walked away with a fistful of front row seats for a half-dozen artists, including their favorite, Rascal Flatts.
So was it worth it?
“Oh yes,” said Roberts, who with her daughter spent a little more than $1,200 on concert and gate admission tickets.
About 100 people were waiting when the ticket office opened. The third person in line, Debbie Deanna, had spent the night in a lounge chair.
Not far behind was Donna Elliott, who also spent the night in a folding chair. She was joined just before the ticket booth opened by her daughter Holly Duke and grandchildren Daisy, 10, and Jake “Bo” Duke, 9.
“I really couldn’t get to sleep. At least it wasn’t freezing or anything like that,” Elliott said.
Members of St. Clement Catholic Church, who operate a strawberry shortcake booth at the festival, treated those in line to strawberry-flavored doughnut holes. They encouraged the crowd to buy advance shortcake tickets when it was their turn at the ticket window, said Jessica Bazley, who helps organize the church fundraiser.
The festival runs Feb. 27 through March 9 with shows daily at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available at www.flstrawberryfestival.com, the festival ticket office at 2209 W. Oak Ave. or by telephone at (813) 754-1996.