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Strawberry Festival maintenance department works year-round

Florida Strawberry Festival Maintenance Supervisor Dale Goodall WFTS2.png
Posted at 7:44 AM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 15:55:28-05

PLANT CITY, Fla. — It may be opening day at the Florida Strawberry Festival for the public, but for those who work on the festival grounds, it’s a 365-day-a-year operation.

Florida Strawberry Festival Maintenance Supervisor Dale Goodall is like a coach motivating his team for the biggest game of the season. His full-time group of eight men and women are the all-stars of the festival.

“We’re actually getting ready for the next festival the following year right after this festival,” said Goodall.

His office is actually a golf cart. You need a set of wheels when you’re dealing with nearly 200 acres of attractions.

2022 Florida Strawberry Festival: Everything you need to know

“You do get overwhelmed, you just got to take it day by day,” said Goodall. “I go home with this job, I sleep with this job, especially this time of year."

The festival grounds are literally in Goodall’s backyard, he lives on the property.

“I started coming here when I was seven, I used to jump the fence over there,” said Goodall. “I shouldn’t be saying that they might deduct my wages.”

He had such a blast coming to the festival, he decided to take a job with the maintenance department in 1995 and he never looked back, becoming a supervisor in 2001.

Florida Strawberry Festival Maintenance Supervisor Dale Goodall WFTS.png
Florida Strawberry Festival Maintenance Supervisor Dale Goodall spends all year preparing for the annual event.

“I grew up here, I always wanted to be a part of it. I found my niche,” said Goodall.

He said no festival is quite the same, it’s like putting together a new puzzle each time.

“It changes every year, we get more vendors, more concessionaires, so we have to try to move one to try to maybe fit it somewhere,” said Goodall.

He inspects every stage in every tent. Months of preparation for 11 days of fun.

“He tells you what to do and he’ll work with you, he’ll work right along with you,” said Nicole, who also works in the maintenance department.

Goodall said it actually amazes him that they're able to get everything done just in time, every time.

“I love it, I hope I have a few more years out here, but this is just something I love doing,” said Goodall.