May 16, 2022

Charlie Doodle

Unique Art & Entertainment

Festival-goers determined to have fun, despite frigid weather

3 min read
Seventeen-year-old Chase Jordan was among several Pasco High students who volunteered behind the plastic safety shield, while serving customers who were buying fruit at the Kumquat Growers patio. Kumquat Growers also displayed and sold various kumquat products. (Fred Bellet)

Folks attending the Kumquat Festival in Dade City last weekend had at least two things in common: They bundled up to brave the brisk weather, and they helped to mark the festival’s quarter-century anniversary.

Normally, the late January festival benefits from weather that typically is not too hot, or not too cold — but just right for strolling along downtown streets, with their quaint storefronts and hundreds of vendors on hand to offer all sorts of specialty items.

This year, though, an arctic blast reached into the nation’s southeast region causing much colder-than-usual weather for the festival.

Still, people turned out from all over — from places such as Dade City, Tampa, Wesley Chapel, Trinity, Lakeland, The Villages, Spring Hill and other locales.

They were there, enjoying the blue sky and sunshine — and tasting the kumquat pie, purchasing kumquats, grabbing a bite to eat and doing a bit of shopping.

Published February 02, 2022

After buying a slice of kumquat refrigerator pie, Bill Coleman, of Zephyrhills, takes a taste before his wife, Connie, gets to have her taste.
Who would expect Lady Denny, a.k.a. April Collins, of Spring Hill, to be at the Kumquat Festival? Collins, portraying a ‘Lady in Waiting,’ was there to let people attending the Kumquat Festival know about the upcoming Renaissance Festival, that will be at the Withlacoochee River Park, in Dade City.
An albino skunk isn’t fazed a bit by the Winnie-the-Pooh Eeyore hat that Susan Samson, of Trinity, is wearing. Samson was finishing a beverage at the Hug-A-Skunk booth hosted by Florida Skunk Rescue. Della Etters of the group, who is from the city of Hernando in Citrus County, holds a two-year old skunk named ‘Minerva.’
With the Kumquat Growers booth divided by a plastic safety shield, Dade City resident Diane Knight, right, makes her selection from the bags of Meiwa and Nagami-type kumquats for sale. Meiwa kumquats are sweet when eaten whole, skin and all. The Nagami is somewhat sweet, but when eaten whole, the skin adds to the tartness to the tiny citrus fruit.
Zephyrhills resident Jason Aiken hawks bottles of his kumquat-infused honey, at the Kumquat Festival in Dade City. Aiken offered several varieties of pure and local raw honey for sale at his vendor’s tent. Melissa Stebbins, of Dade City, was there to help with sales.
It was a day of firsts for Ayden Pressley, of Dade City. Not only did his grandfather James Pressley, of Dade City, bring him to is first Kumquat Festival, but the three-year-old experienced the Hug-A-Skunk feature sponsored by Florida Skunk Rescue. He is holding a skunk named Oreo, but the creature closely resembled the cartoon character named Pepe le Pew. Ayden’s 8-year-old brother, E.J. Amour, also got a chance to hug Oreo.
Bridget White, of Wesley Chapel, may have been colder than the slices of kumquat refrigerator pie she and other volunteers from the Sacred Heart Early Childhood Center were selling from their tent at the Kumquat Festival. The group was ready for lots of sales: They had 750 pies, each cut into eight slices.
Wilfred Viens, of Zephyrhills, finds the kumquat refrigerator pie to be quite tart, at first taste. But that didn’t stop him from finishing the entire slice that he purchased from the Catholic Women’s Club of St. Anthony’s Church.





Festival-goers determined to have fun, despite frigid weather

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