If you think eating frog legs is off-putting, you might change your mind upon knowing that at the Frog Leg Festival in Fellsmere, Florida, eating this amphibian is helping to build recreational facilities and “providing for the recreational needs of Fellsmere’s youth, one frog leg at a time!”

It started as a simple fundraising idea back in 1990 but has now become a popular celebration which takes place during the third week of January.

Frog Legs
Frog legs are a delicacy and at the Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival, they’re for a good cause.
(Photo Credit: kermit’s legs by Flickr user chewychua)

Fellsmere is a rural town with a rather small population and is located an hour away from Orlando, Florida. It was swamp land when English engineer Nelson Fell purchased it in 1911. He developed the land, built establishments on it, and even constructed a train station with rails that connect to the Florida East Coast Railway. He called the community “Fellsmere”, which is a combination of his name and the English word “mere”, meaning “watery place”. Several years after its foundation, natural disasters damaged the community and those living there had to slowly rebuild their lives. Being agricultural land, sugarcane was grown and eventually citrus fruits. People also raised cattle and other farm animals.

More than 20 years ago, however, residents of Fellsmere noticed that their town seriously lacked funds for youth recreation. This led Fran Adams and other citizens to hold a Frog Leg Dinner event to raise funds. Frog legs were abundant in the area and the idea was unique enough to attract people to Fellsmere. And come, they did. A total of 400 dinners were served during the event – a number that organizers did not anticipate. The success of the event inspired the community to continue hosting the festival every year. According to the Frog Leg Festival website, more than 500,000 U.S. Dollars (USD) have been donated since the event’s inception.

Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival
The official 2014 festival t-shirt gives a taste of what’s in store.
(Photo Credit: Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival)

This year’s Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival will run from January 16th to 19th and will observe the following festival hours:

Thursday and Friday: 4PM to 11PM
Saturday: 10AM to 11PM
Sunday: 11AM to 6PM

Organizers are expecting a crowd of 80,000 people and to serve 7,000 dinners. The menu includes:

Frog Legs

Frog Leg Dinner: 9.00 USD
Includes grits, coleslaw, and hush puppies.

Frog Leg Sampler: 11.00 USD
One pound of frog legs only. No sides.

Gator Tail

Gator & Frog Leg Dinner: 14.00 USD
Includes grits, coleslaw, and hush puppies.

Gator Sampler: 13.00 USD
One pound of gator only. No sides.

And the following dinner hours will be observed:

Thursday and Friday: 4PM to 9PM
Saturday: 11AM to 9PM
Sunday: 11AM to 6PM

For those who are not very keen on having amphibians for dinner, don’t think of skipping the event just yet. Although frog legs and alligator tails will be the main attractions, usual festival food will also be available. There will be sandwiches, hotdogs, burgers, pizza, turkey legs, popcorn, ice cream, and many others.

The organizers have also prepared a wide variety of entertainment to ensure there’s something for everyone. There will be a number of carnival rides, contests such as “Dance for Your Free Frog Leg Dinner & Rodeo Tickets”, a mechanical-bull riding tournament, country music singers, blues bands, dance performances, and more than 100 vendors featuring their artwork and handmade products.

For the full details on the festival schedule, head to the Frog Leg Festival website.

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About Kathy del Castillo

Kathy is a free spirit who has an attention span equivalent to that of a squirrel. So it's only seemly that she has a penchant for adventures and spontaneity. And because she is expected to earn her keep, she works as an online freelancer doing (what else?) random stuff.


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