DADE CITY -
The tiniest of citrus fruit is getting its moment in the sun once again.
The 15th annual Kumquat Festival is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in downtown Dade City, where each year the community rallies around what even the Chamber of Commerce refers to as a "little fruit with a funny name."
More than 400 vendors are expected to participate.
Visitors can hear local entertainers, get their faces painted, look at antique cars and shop for arts and crafts, according to the Dade City Chamber of Commerce.
The central theme, though, is kumquats. The kumquat, a small fruit with a tart flavor, is used in jellies, marmalades, pies, cakes and other concoctions.
"There's even a kumquat wine," said John Moors, director of the chamber.
Those interested in getting their kumquat fix before Saturday arrives can visit an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Friday at Kumquat Growers Inc., 31647 Gude Road. The open house includes tours of the packinghouse and the kumquat grove. Roger Swain, one-time host of "The Victory Garden" on PBS, will talk on kumquat history.
"He's been coming to the festival every year since we started," said Frank Gude, owner of Kumquat Growers.
Some highlights of Saturday's Kumquat Festival include:
Dixie Blue will perform classic country, French Cajun and rock 'n' roll at 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30 p.m.
Several Kumquat Festival contests already have been held. Here are the winners:
Mr. and Miss Kumquat Pageant:
Wee Miss Kumquat, Emily Mohler; Little Mr. Kumquat, Logan Dawson; Junior Miss Kumquat, Emily Chambers; Miss Kumquat, Celeste Dawson; Teen Miss Kumquat, Hannah Chambers; Junior Mr. Kumquat, Bryce Perry; Little Miss Kumquat, Ashlynn Diaz; and Tiny Miss Kumquat, Leigha Sims.
Kumquat Recipe Contest:
Grand prize, kumquat cannoli cake by Margie Goodwin. Main Dish, first place, chicken wild rice casserole with kumquats by Margie Goodwin; second place, tangy easy kumquat chicken & gravy by Cheyanne Nichols. Breakfast, first place, kumquat Gruyere grits by Kimberly Brown Hawkins. Dessert, first place, kumquat cannoli cake by Margie Goodwin; second place, kumquat cuties by Rachel Palmieri; third place, fruitcake by Ralph J. Teetor III.
Window Decorating Contest:
First place, Kensington York & Co., 37913 Church Ave.; second place, A Matter of Taste, 14121 Seventh St.; third place, Antiques on Main Street, 14122 Seventh St.; honorable mention, Bonita's Flower Shop, 14342 Seventh St.
If you go
WHAT: 15th annual Kumquat Festival
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Downtown Dade City
PARKING: The Chamber of Commerce provides two free park-and-ride areas. One is on State Road 52 next to the Pasco County Fairgrounds. The other is at the corner of U.S. 98 bypass and Dick Jarrett Way. Limited handicapped parking is available on Seventh Street between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Pineapple Street.