Make us your home page
Instagram

Annual Kumquat Festival kicks off Saturday in Dade City

DADE CITY

This weekend, folks from near and far will be flocking to pay homage to the kumquat — a distant Asian relative of the citrus family that is harvested from November through April 1 in local groves.

The kumquat has long been a traditional symbol of prosperity during Chinese New Year's celebrations. In recent years, the tiny fruit with a powerful, tart punch has caught on as a decorative addition for Thanksgiving and Christmas centerpieces. The juicy Nagami variety has also captured the attention of chefs worldwide, while the sweeter Meiwa is favored as a snacking fruit.

In past years, some 40,000 have attended the Kumquat Festival, taking the opportunity to taste a piece of kumquat pie, chutney or marmalade, homemade cookies. Or perhaps some even have had a daring go at simply popping an oval Nagami into the mouth whole, chewing slowly to savor the tart, then sweet flavor that comes when fruity flesh blends with the thin, orange peel.

The one-day gala includes a bevy of family friendly activities — arts and crafts, face painting, antique cars and musical entertainment with lots of opportunities to sample the fruit. The festival also culminates a month of kumquat-related events including a recipe contest, the Dade City Merchants' window decorating contest, Miss and Mr. Kumquat pageant and the Kumquat Growers Open House.

The open house, to be held Thursday and Friday, might appeal to early birds wanting a preview of what's to come and learn more about how the fruit is cultivated and harvested — snipped with a pair of sharp, shears rather than plucked, lest the fruit spoil.

The open house will include tours of the adjacent groves and packing house, free samples, a farmers market, bluegrass music and presentations by Roger Swain, former host of PBS' Victory Garden.

"It's a nice alternative for people who want to beat the crowds," said Margie Neuhofer, whose family shares ownership of the Kumquat Growers Inc., along with the Gude family.

Word is Greg Gude has whipped up 1,000 pies with the help of his employees to be sold by the slice at Saturday's fest. Those who go can pick up a copy of the recipe or check out others, also available on the Kumquat Growers website, including Neuhofer's own special concoction "Margie's Kumquat Cake," which she serves on special occasions and employee birthdays at the packing house.

"It's simple. I use a boxed cake mix, but people think I made always it from scratch," Neuhofer said. "They all go wild over it."

. If you go

Kumquat Festival

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in downtown Dade City. Free admission and parking at city-owned lots and free transportation from satellite parking areas. For information, call the Dade City Chamber of Commerce at (352) 567-3769 or go to dadecitychamber.org.

Kumquat Growers

Open House

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the Growers packing house, 31647 Gude Road, Dade City. For information, call (352) 588-0544 or go to kumquatgrowers.com.

Annual Kumquat Festival kicks off Saturday in Dade City 01/20/14 [Last modified: Monday, January 20, 2014 7:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Ticket window: Shania Twain, Chicago, George Benson

    Music & Concerts

    Tickets for the following events go on sale this week:

    LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 01:  Singer Shania Twain performs during the debut of her residency show "Shania: Still the One" at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on December 1, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
  2. Plan your weekend Aug. 25-27: Craig Morgan, Wearable Art 13, SNL's Pete Davidson, Rodeo Fest

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    USF

    Pete Davidson: Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson will headline this year's University of South Florida Round-Up Comedy Show, a back-to-school tradition at USF. Expect to hear about his recent trip to rehab, since he's known for his confessional …

    The 12th annual Wearable art Fashion Show was held at the Dunedin Fine Art Center on Saturday evening, August 27, 2016.
DAVID W DOONAN | Special To The Times
  3. Pasco Events for Aug. 25-31

    Events

    25 Friday

    Feeding Pasco's Elderly hosts inaugural Leadership Breakfast: The Pasco County Elderly Nutrition Division/Feeding Pasco's Elderly will host this east Pasco event to mirror the Ambassador's Breakfast fundraising event that has been held the past two years on the county's west side. County …

  4. Local craft beer of the week: Cherry Pastelitos, Coppertail Brewing Co. in Tampa

    Bars & Spirits

    On Saturday, Tampa's Coppertail Brewing Co. will celebrate its third anniversary with a Florida weisse festival, showcasing densely fruited tart wheat beers from more than a dozen Tampa Bay area breweries including, of course, many of its own brews in this summer-friendly style.

    Center: Coppertail Brewing’s Cherry Pastelitos. Flanking it are Coppertail’s BOMP (blood orange, mango, passionfruit), left, and Pinky Swear (pink lemonade-flavored).
  5. 'Smokey Joe's Cafe' opens run at Show Palace Dinner Theatre

    Stage

    The Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson takes a nostalgic swing through the 1950s and '60s with its production of Smokey Joe's Cafe, which opens Aug. 26. The local offering of the longest-running rock 'n' roll revue in Broadway history features the legendary pop tunes of hit makers Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber. …

    A local production of the 1950s and '60s musical revue "Smokey Joe's Cafe" opens Aug. 26 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson.