We did the Virginia Farm Festival, now it is time to experience the Florida Farm Festival. Just imagine a feels like heat of 110*, dust all over, sweat coming out of places you didn’t know could sweat, and Gator EVERYWHERE.
This was the feeling at the Lutz Watermelon Festival.
First, let me tell you about Lutz. It’s one of the first towns you hit when you cross over the northwestern Tampa border. This town is a mix of the bougie family execs from Tampa and the true Florida style man. You’re surrounded by farms, an old western looking town, and a surplus of large gated communities. The instant you cross the border from Tampa you know you’re outside of the city from the array of green foliage and the lack of an interstate.
To my surprise, when we showed up at County Line Produce, I realized we had already been there! My one other time in Lutz when my boyfriend, his friends, and I went on a motorcycle ride up there – long winding state roads – and stopped to see the goats behind the produce market. We even bought salsa and hot sauce there!
This time was a much different feel, instead of being the only ones in the market we were surrounded by hundreds of mask clad people cheering on the watermelon pageant youngsters.
This wasn’t like the other larger, state known, festivals we’ve been to, (Florida State Fair and the Strawberry Festival) it truly felt like a small town fair. With free parking in one lot and the fields being taken over by a children’s climbing wall, tire swings, a dunk tank, a few vendors, BBQ style food trucks, and County Line Produce as their backdrop, this was a true small town event.
We were starving, so we started off surveying all the food trucks they had to offer. Tyler went with a Spanish food truck so he could get his mofongo and I ended up with a piña colada inside of a giant pineapple. And then with an ear of corn dunked in a vat of butter. I love me some good, fresh, roasted corn.
We sat down at a table and spotted it, The Tea Jug! With a variety of flavors to choose from, I settled on the namesake of the day, the watermelon tea. If you like watermelon you need to try this iced tea, literally tasted like I was drinking a sweet, sweet watermelon.
We made our way over to the one alcohol vendor at the festival, Java and Vine. This line was a wait, everyone was getting in on the coffee and the wine! When we got to the front I realized I read the ad wrong and there was not in fact watermelon wine (I was very saddened by this) but there was frose. I am usually all about frose but we figured I should slow down on the sugar. BUT the wait wasn’t a complete waste since it was in the viewing area for the lil Miss Watermelon Pageant. I was hoping to see the watermelon eating contest, too, but Tyler and I went a little too hard on the food too soon.
Most of the activities were for kids, plus we were trying not to touch too many things due to the second wave of COVID-19 hitting Florida, hard. But if you have children or nieces and nephews definitely hit the Lutz Watermelon Festival next year! This was their inaugural year so hopefully they will come back next year!
It was a small festival so after about two hours of our stomachs being sufficiently satisfied and me spending money on everything that grabbed my attention – like superman rainbow macaroons -we decided it was time to do the drive back towards city life. But not without getting a signature giant slice of watermelon and buying another giant watermelon to enjoy through the week!