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Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Plant City to host Tampa Bay Blueberry Festival

PLANT CITY - Plant City is synonymous with strawberries, but they are not the only berries on the block. The 6th annual Tampa Bay Blueberry Festival will take place April 27-28 at the Keel & Curley Winery, 5202 W. Thonotosassa Road, in Plant City. Jenna Tessier, events coordinator at Keel & Curley, has high expectations for this year’s event.
“Last year we had more than 6,000 people throughout the weekend,” she said. “This year, we’ve really gotten the word out there and we hope it’s going to be a lot bigger.” The festival doubles as a celebration of the spring blueberry harvest. The event’s history dates back to 1995, when the Keel family planted 25 acres worth of blueberries on its property. They began producing blueberry wine in 2003 and decided to welcome the public in 2008 for the first edition of the festival. Although the event will include the debut of two new wines — featuring strawberry shortcake and, naturally, blueberry flavors — Tessier says the festival will feature activities for the entire family. In addition to wine-making classes and a session on blueberry farming from Keel Farms manager Ryan Keel, visitors can take part in U-pick blueberries and check out any of the 100 food and craft vendors on-site. The schedule also includes live music, a kids’ area and the presentation of the Blueberry Queen, along with the rest of the Blueberry Royalty Court. “The staff’s going to be very busy that weekend, but it’s also going to be a lot of fun,” Tessier said. Admission is free. Parking is $5 and VIP parking is $10. For more information, call (813) 752-9100 or visit www.keelandcurleywinery.com/blueberryfestival

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