Sour Orange Fest to be served up with quilt contest this year

MOORE HAVEN — Glades County Commissioner Donald Strenth made his annual plug about the upcoming festival in his town of Lakeport at this week’s board meeting, but this year he did it with a little more urgency.

“The weekend of the 19th we’re having our Sour Orange Festival in Lakeport, and we’d like for everybody to show up, and maybe we can make it into something this year!” he said. Attendance has been lagging somewhat in the recent few years, Mr. Strenth lamented, “so we’re going to try to revive it.”

This year it’s being called “The Sour Orange Festival and Quilt Show,” the organizers recently announced. Jo Randolph is in charge of signing up vendors and confirmed that a quilt event will take place.

Muriel Green, who’s in charge of the annual cook-off, said she is the oldest charter member of the Lakeport Community Association and had just gotten reinvolved again but was not sure how many contestants in the cook-off they might have this year. Last year there were only three and, due to some no-shows, she was asked to recruit judges. Then afterward, she was asked to run the contest this year.

A change in the date of the festival one recent year, she said, put it the same weekend as the Ortona Cane Grinding Festival, conflicting with Lakeport’s event. So now it’s been changed to this month rather than in February.

Ms. Green said she’d been in Moore Haven earlier distributing fliers to publicize the event. “We are trying to get some interest in it, because … at one point we really had a good thing going, but then… sometimes when younger ones take over, they’re kind of lax, and that’s what happened. We’re trying to get it back on track.”

For 2019, live entertainment featuring Jay and Patty, sponsored by Hoss Aluminum, and the Quilt Show have been added to the schedule, which includes the traditional Sour Orange Cook-Off starting at 10 a.m.

The festival is set for Saturday, Jan. 19, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lakeport Community Center, off State Road 78 at 1239 Red Barn Road in Lakeport.

Also in the entertainment lineup are Bubbles the Clown, vendor booths and a 50/50 drawing. For vendor information, call Ms. Randolph at 863-946-1222. Those interested in entering the Sour Orange Cook-Off for a chance to win ribbons and cold, hard cash should call Ms. Green at (863) 946-1494. Seating is limited, so don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs!

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