Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Events

Kumquat Festival marks 20 years celebrating Dade City's favorite fruit

DADE CITY — Saturday will mark the 20th time Dade City has played host to the festival that celebrates its favorite fruit: the kumquat.

"The star of the show is kumquat pie," said John Moors, executive director of the Dade City Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the annual Kumquat Festival.

It's like key lime pie, Moors said, except it's made with tiny kumquats.

So is lots of the other food and drinks at the festival.

"Kumquat beer, kumquat wine, jams and jellies and marmalades," Moors said. "There's even kumquat ice cream."

But kumquat concoctions aren't the event's only draw.

"What's great about this festival is that every year there's a host of new vendors and new arts and crafts and new merchandise," Moors said.

This year, the daylong festival will boast about 440 vendors, including food, gifts and home decor. And there will be attractions, Moor said, for any age group.

"There's pony rides and bounce houses (and) neat games for the kids to play," he said.

There also will be a health and wellness section, which will cater to senior citizens. It will feature health screenings, information and giveaways. In addition, visitors will have access to a "dementia bus," where they can learn about the disease.

There also will be plenty of arts and crafts.

"Dozens and dozens of handmade quilts," Moors said — kumquat-themed quilts, which were entered in a kumquat quilt contest. They will be on display at the library in downtown Dade City.

"They all look beautiful to me," Moors said. "The winner gets the accolades of having the top kumquat quilt, probably in the world, (but) at least in eastern Pasco."

And people can expect to be entertained at the festival.

"Old Florida-style, down-home country music and gospel music and blue grass music," Moors said.

Performers will include country musician Eli Mosley, the jazz band Standing 8 Count, Christian musicians from First Baptist Church of Dade City, plus a couple of groups of cloggers.

And there is no charge to watch them perform, Moors added.

"It's a free event, and it's free parking, and it's free shuttle service on buses into downtown, and it's free entertainment," he said. "We're able to do it because of the generosity of our sponsors."

Moors estimates up to 30,000 people from throughout the state will show up in waves throughout the day.

"People come from Pinellas and Tampa, and down from the Villages and up from Sun City Center," he said.

The festival is worth the trip, he added. "It's a very authentic, laid-back type of way to enjoy a Saturday," he said.

 
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