Weeki Wachee Swamp Fest
In March of 1993, an unpredicted storm struck the gulf coast of Florida and areas of Pine Island were slammed with a more than 10 foot storm surge. They called this store the No Name Storm and many people in the Weeki Wachee community were affected. “Weeki Wachee area was devastated during the No Name Storm,” recalls Karen Lendard, President of the Weeki Wachee Swamp Fest.
The Swamp Fest started as a fundraiser for the community in the wake of the No Name Storm in March of 1994. It was a neighborhood gathering and fish fry where they served up swamp cabbage to raise money to repair the roof on the Weeki Wachee Area Club . “We fell in love with the community because everybody came together and worked together,” Lenard stated.
The festival began at the Weeki Wachee Christian Camp, moved to Linda Pedersen Park. This year marked their fourth year at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park to accommodate the popularity of the festival.
The festival has grown in its 23 years with more community inspiration, new emerging artists, and beautiful hand-crafted products. Of course the most anticipated part of the festival remains the Swamp Monster Contest!
“It’s amazing, we have over 300 volunteers and all these volunteers are amazing people and they come back every year,” Lendard said.
If you missed this year’s festivities, Swamp Fest will be held at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park the first week in March of 2017.
For more information, check out their website at http://www.swampfestweekiwachee.com/