The Taste of Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival

FELLSMERE — As the weather warmed, lines lengthened for frog leg and gator tickets on Saturday, day three of the Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival. Lines grew so long, many in search of frog legs wound up with funnel cakes instead.

“We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time now,” said Mary Heany, a visitor hailing from upstate New York. Heany and her husband of 51-years, Tom Heany, are in the midst of their “sunshine travel” and were camping nearby.

The Heany’s are well acquainted with frog legs and consider them a treat, but at this festival, the long lines drove them to loaded french fries instead.

“We figured it would be midnight before we got [frog legs],” Mary Heany said.

But long lines are a sign of success for the nearly 7,000 volunteers who work all year long to pull off one of the city’s largest fundraisers. Proceeds will go toward improving the city’s recreation facilities and programs, just as the fundraiser was designed 24 years ago.

The Heany’s were in good company. Many people in attendance on Saturday were skipping the frog leg lines and showing support in other ways.

Lucky for festival goers, the festival had plenty of options fit for anyone’s taste buds.

Gina Evans, owner of “Taste and Tell”, a vendor serving up conch fritters, chicken on a stick, and more, said this was her fifth time setting up shop at the frog leg festival.

“We love coming here. We have the same customers every year come back for conch fritters and chicken on a stick. I love our customers here,” Evans said.

Sue Sheehan, of Glenmont, N.Y., was halfway through her chicken on a stick and was raving about it.

“This is so good,” Sheehan said. Saturday was Sheehan’s first time attending the festival and she was not concerned about skipping out on frog legs and gator. Evans’ chicken on a stick was good enough to cause Sheehan to consider a second trip to the Taste and Tell line.

Lisa Taylor, a visitor from Bristol, Conn., waited her turn in line for her first-ever frog leg meal.

“They were very good, and I would try them again,” Taylor said, but with food choices abounding, the legs were not the final item on her menu.

Like many others, Taylor spent her afternoon sampling fudge, corn on the cob, and a few other tasty treats.

As the scents of fried Oreos, Philly cheesesteaks, jumbo turkey legs collided with the sights of dripping ice cream cones and frozen lemon smoothies, it was too much to decide on just one snack.

In case festival goers filled up on frog before testing the other tasty treats, it is not too late to correct the problem. Fellsmere will wrap up its four day festival on Sunday, complete with all the sights, smells, sounds and tastes that have filled the fairgrounds since Thursday evening.

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