The Official Florida Blueberry Festival HistoryOur History
The Official Florida Blueberry Festival™(FBF) was founded in 2010 as a 501c3 organization. For the last seven (7) years, we built a very successful festival within the downtown streets of the City of Brooksville in Hernando County. The Festival grew to over 60,000 festival-goers in a two-day weekend.
Where we began . . .
The Florida Blueberry Festival began as an economic development vehicle for the City of Brooksville, to bring recognition to the Florida Blueberry Industry and to provide additional funding to local civic groups that hold a 501c designation. The Festival's downtown location limited the event to being open for only 2 days limiting the opportunities for growth. Additionally, ongoing costs for state road closures, city services, the rental of temporary security fencing, generators and fuel became problematic and price prohibitive to accomplish the festival missions and goals prompting us to relocate. Operations were suspended for 2018 while finding a new location to adequately handle the festival's rapid growth.
Where we are now . . .
In 2019, the Festival will be hosted on the newly created "Formosa Garden’s Event Center" enabling the festival to extend the event for two additional days, eliminating the state road closures expense and will eventually eliminate all extraneous expenses generated by a downtown street location.
The 2019 Florida Blueberry Festival™ – Kissimmee will be a four-day festival with a minimal entrance fee. The festival provides free music on its amphitheater grounds. It will have a Wine Bar presented by The Island Grove Wine Company Formosa Gardens, a Beer Garden with both craft and domestic choices, a Festival Fare Food court with 20 food concessionaries with an adjoining large picnic table dining area, adorned with colorful umbrellas. The site will accommodate 300 10x10 exhibitor booth spaces; 180 retail & information exhibitors, 120 of the spaces will be designated for Fine Arts and Crafts. Artisans interested in a Juried Art Show (presented by Tampa Bay Magazine) can participate with an opportunity to win $6,000 in cash awards. There are designated areas for the sale of Fresh Florida Blueberries, Fresh Blueberry Pies, Blueberry Plants and many other blueberry products, along with a special designated VIP Hospitality Pavilion. The Blueberry Patch Kids Zone will be filled with outdoor inflatable bouncers, bungee jumping, rock climbing and other fun activities for kids of all ages.
What to expect . . .
The grounds of Formosa Gardens Event Center will have solid surface walkways and underground utilities providing our exhibitors electric with potable water where necessary. The grounds will be equipped with overhead lighting a loud speaker system for safety and the Festival’s night venues. 24-hour security and EMS be on the premises during the Festival and security will remain on property for the off hours. The Event Center has parking available onsite with several satellite parking areas within walking distance and trolley transportation.
The Beneficiaries for the 2019 Florida Blueberry Festival™ are:
- Florida Blueberry Growers Association (Education- Research & Marketing)
- The Community Hope Center – Osceola County
- The Sunshine Foundation – Dream Village – Polk County
- Autism Society of Greater Orlando (ASGO) – Orange County
- Local 501c working as part of the event staff