Plant City, Florida

Plant City, Florida

Plant City is the winter strawberry capital of the world. Located 24 miles east of Tampa in Hillsborough County and just 10 miles west of Lakeland, Plant City is easily accessible from all parts of Florida by four major interchanges on Interstate-4 to all Interstates and State Highways.

Florida Strawberry Festival
The Florida Strawberry Festival took place from February 27 – March 8, 2020 in Plant City, Florida. File photo: P. Allison, Shutter Stock, licensed.

About The Community

Plant City is in the northeastern corner of Hillsborough County in the heart of Central Florida. It is an old city, rich in history and it was incorporated in 1885, just 16 years after the state was chartered. The city has grown over the past 110 years to its present size of 29 square miles.


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Hillsborough County Sheriff
A Hillsborough County Sheriff patrol vehicle in Tampa Florida. September 10, 2021. File photo: Chad Robertson Media, Shutter Stock, licensed.

Plant City’s original name was Ichepucksassa, after the Indian village that was originally located here. Most people found it impossible to spell or pronounce this name and the local Irish postmaster renamed the village Cork, after his home city in Ireland. In 1884, Henry B. Plant extended the South Florida Railroad to this town and in his honor, when the town was incorporated a year later; it was renamed after him as Plant City. People mistakenly think the name is derived from the rich agricultural community that surrounds it.


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In its early days, Plant City was a large cotton center but its fame as a strawberry-growing center dates back almost to its year of incorporation. Over 5,000 acres of strawberries are planted annually in and around Plant City. Changing its major crop to strawberries has brought the city national recognition and today, almost seventy-five per cent of the country’s midwinter strawberries come from Plant City.

Strawberry Festival
Strawberry Festival in Plant City Florida: In line waiting to make Strawberry Shortcake at the Strawberry Festival. File photo: John Gagliano, Shutter Stock, licensed.

Since 1930, members of the newly organized Plant City Lions Club conceived the idea of the Florida Strawberry Festival to celebrate the bountiful harvest of the strawberries. Today it is a much-awaited celebration in early March each year where you can you can taste some of the finest shortcake, pie and cobblers made from the freshest strawberries in the land. Even today, the Lions Club and other civic organizations are very much a part of the joyous occasion, where there are floats, competitions, and the pageant for the selection and coronation of the festival Queen and King.


Vicinity of Plant City


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Besides strawberries, Plant City and the surrounding area grow citrus, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, okra, peppers, beans, dairy products, eggs, ornamental horticulture, tropical fish, beef cattle, swine and other related products. There are some 2,600 farms in Hillsborough County producing fruit and vegetable crops and the county is among the largest agricultural counties in the nation.

Freshwater Meadow. Photo taken in Plant City
A Freshwater Meadow in Plant City, FL. File photo: Aaron Alvarez, Shutter Stock, licensed.

Plant City is a prosperous city providing a number of job opportunities in the towered factories of the phosphate industry and its verdant citrus groves and strawberry fields. Agriculture, phosphate mining, manufacturing, and shipping industries continue to grow and prosper in this lovely city. An exciting place for a family outing is the nearby Dinosaur world. This is an outdoor museum with replicas of various dinosaurs in their natural environment, and offers excellent hands on interactive opportunities for education for young and old.

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