Frostproof Orange Blossom Festival Comes Into Full Bloom
by James Coulter
Susan Q and her husband are currently visiting a lodge for a fishing trip in Frostproof. When they learned that a craft fair would be hosted in the area, they considered it a prime opportunity for Susie Q to show off her homemade crafts.
Naming her booth “Susie Q”, Susan displayed many of the crafts she had made, both at her home in Ruskin and during her stay in Frostproof. Susan offered a little bit of anything and everything from potted plants and table centerpieces to wall decor and wreaths.
Susan grew up attending craft shows with her mother. As someone who inherited her artistic experience from her, Susan was more than happy to share during the annual Orange Blossom Festival on Saturday.
Susan and her husband loved sharing her crafts and seeing other crafts. They also loved being able to see the many classic cars at the adjacent classic car show.
“I am enjoying it,” she said. “With COVID, it was not as big as it could have been. We like the people, the atmosphere. We love it down here in Frostproof. We would probably do this again.”
For the past 19 years, the Orange Blossom Festival and Classic Car Show have been drawing guests and residents to Downtown Frostproof. The annual event is a fundraiser for the Frostproof Chamber of Commerce, and one of their most significant next to their Jeeptoberfest, explained Melodie Kincaid, Chamber Director.
All along E. Wall Street, vendors showcased their wares, from homemade crafts and goods, to natural honey and honey products, and essential oils and scents. The Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary sold strawberry shortcakes to support their local department.
Further down the road were parked dozens of classic cars for the Classic Car Show. Closer to the water near Henderson Field, food trucks of all sorts were parked to offer great food, from Vintage Doughnuts to Great Smokin Ox.
The turnout proved sizeable, especially during these uncertain times. Many people attended and took the precaution to socially distance themselves and wear masks, though they did so at their discretion, Kincaid said.
“We are absolutely very impressed with the turnout,” she said. “Everyone has mixed feelings about the COVID situation. We have some people with masks, others without. It is up to their discretion and what makes them feel safer…We are very thankful for everyone who has come out and all the businesses and individuals who continue to be a support for us.”
Elaine Reynolds used the event as an opportunity to share her children’s books. From a starfish that escapes the sea in hopes of becoming a real star in the sky to a firefly who tries his best to get his broken light to light up, her stories combine witty humor with colorful illustrations and intriguing true facts.
Reynolds self publishes through Gypsy Publications in Ohio. She is a retired school teacher who wanted to share her love of teaching through children’s books. She lives in Ohio for six months of the year and at the Rainbow RV Park in Frostproof the other six, so she was interested in attending the event.
“This was an opportunity to get out and sell our wares,” she said. “It is so beautiful [with] the music and the vendors. That is the best part. I want to come next year, and I want people to come to it, too.”