FELLSMERE – A deluge of rain minutes before the start of the 19th Annual Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival cleared just in time for the event to begin. However, by all accounts, Thursday’s opening festivities seemed quieter than last year.
“It’s a comfortable crowd,” Fellsmere City Councilman Joel Tyson said, while sitting at the Historical Society booth. He added that Thursdays tends to have a slower feel to them than Fridays and Saturdays.
Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival founder Fran Adams said she expected the kitchen to churn out between 650 and 700 plates of frog legs and gator tail Thursday night. By comparison, they plan to dish out 4,200 plates on Saturday – equating to a dinner dished every three seconds.
While the Frog Leg Festival serves up tons of frog legs and gator tail, more traditional fare of hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken and conch on a stick, are available for the not-so-adventurous.
A few thousand people turned out at the Old Fellsmere School grounds for the annual homage to frogs, gators and all things Fellsmere.
They walked the booths of crafters, taking in acrylic carvers, a chainsaw craftsman, and booth after booth of knickknacks.
Carnival rides range from the tame Circus Train and Ferris Wheel to the more heart-pounding 1001 Nights and Tornado. Shrieks of fear and simultaneous exhilaration floated over the air into the night.
On tap for the remaining three days are more food, more rides, more crafts, live entertainment and demonstrations, and contests. And, of course, more people. Organizers expect 80,000 people to attend the festival over the course of the 4-day event.