Strawberry Festival Transformed Into Christmas Lane

PLANT CITY, FL — As far as Plant City residents are concerned, bright red strawberries with their caps of green are the perfect complement to the holiday season.

So hosting the annual Christmas Lane holiday event at the Florida Strawberry Festival fairgrounds makes perfect sense.

Founded in 1984 by Dover farmer Lane Wetherington, Christmas Lane carries visitors through whimsical holiday vignettes.

For years the Wetheringtons hosted the month-long event on their own Dover property. However, in 2015 the family teamed up with the Strawberry Festival and moved the event to the Charlie Grimes Family Agricultural Center at the fairgrounds, 2508 W Oak Ave. in Plant City.

Wetherington’s concept has been expanded to include live performances by local groups, living nativity scenes, a kids’ zone and carnival rides amidst larger-than-life holiday decorations collected by Wetherington over the years and 1.5 million lights decorating more than 100 Christmas trees, some as tall as 40 feet.

The event also features food concessions and a chance for kids to visit with Santa.

Starting Nov. 23, Christmas Lane will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 24.

Tickets are $5 plus tax for attendees 13 and older, $3 plus tax for ages 4 through 12, and free for children 3 and younger. They may be purchased at the gate, which opens at 5:30 p.m.

Christmas Lane is a nonprofit organization. Volunteers work more than 2,000 hours to set up the winter display.