Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Weeki Wachee's Swamp Festival offers a taste of fun

Using glass beads, Shawn Critoph of Holiday works on an insect-themed suncatcher at his Swamp Fest booth Saturday in Weeki Wachee.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Using glass beads, Shawn Critoph of Holiday works on an insect-themed suncatcher at his Swamp Fest booth Saturday in Weeki Wachee.

WEEKI WACHEE — Under a canopy of oak trees, Linda Charbeaux took a much-needed breather and dove into a bowl of swamp cabbage soup she had just bought.

Charbeaux, who hails from Illinois, had never tasted the concoction that has become synonymous with the Weeki Wachee Swamp Fest. But when she passed by a food booth Saturday set up by Brian's Place she was curious. When proprietor Bob Alvarez reeled off the ingredients of the dish, which contained hearts of palm, onions and his own special addition, chorizo sausage, she decided to take a chance.

"It kind of reminds me of the cabbage soup my mother used to make, but with a little more of a kick," she said after a couple of spoonfuls. "I'm glad I tried it."

The festival, which continues today at Linda Peterson Park in Weeki Wachee, is a amalgam of the kinds of activities people enjoy doing on warm, sunny spring day — hunt for crafts, sample good food and listen to a little music.

"It's a laid-back event where people just like to mingle," said Bill Dickerson a Homosassa vendor and creator of nautical motif items he hoped would catch the eye of passersby. A favorite was his "porta bar" made from a wooden ironing board with hand-painted palm trees, parrots and a slogan proclaiming "it's 5 o'clock somewhere."

The festival, which is sponsored by the Weeki Wachee Area Club, drew hundreds of visitors in its first hour, which quickly forced organizers to open remote parking lots.

"It's one of my favorite things to do every year," said Spring Hill resident Lois Deerfield, visiting a booth selling glass jewelry. "I have to watch myself or I'll end up spending too much money."

Festival arts and craft chairwoman said that despite the economic downturn all 150 vendor spaces were rented out for this year's event.

"We have them from all over the country," she said. "If they have a good product that people want they'll make money."

James Sadler, an entrepreneur from Brooksville selling a homemade novelty instrument called a "canjo," was hoping that would be true.

"This is my bread and butter right now," he said.

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1435.

If you go

Fest continues

The 16th annual Weeki Wachee Swamp Fest continues today 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Linda Pedersen Park at Jenkins Creek, 6400 Shoal Line Blvd., Weeki Wachee. Admission is $2 for adults, free for children under 12 with an adult. Parking is free. For information, call (352) 596-3987 for information.

Weeki Wachee's Swamp Festival offers a taste of fun 03/07/09 [Last modified: Saturday, March 7, 2009 1:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Encounters: Trial by storm for a rookie principal

    K12

    DUNEDIN — When he nodded off to sleep, the hallway lights outside Michael Vasallo's office were on, so the sudden darkness woke him.

    The glow of his desk phone dimmed.

    Michael Vasallo, right, the first-year principal at Dunedin Highland Middle School, talks with the school's head plant operator Clint Case near the back-up generator on campus. The generator failed just as Hurricane Irma passed through Pinellas County, making for a stressful night. The experience made Vasallo long to return to his regular job, educating middle schoolers. [COLEEN WRIGHT   |   Times]


  2. Who is in charge during a hurricane? Hillsborough County and Tampa still can't agree

    Hurricanes

    TAMPA — Who has the authority to order an evacuation during a hurricane?

    Mayor Bob Buckhorn says he has evacuation authority.
  3. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31

    Blogs

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  4. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win

    Blogs

    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  5. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.