Every year, for one day, a small, oval-shaped fruit called the kumquat takes center stage during a festival that was established by The Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce in 1998.
The annual event celebrates everything that makes the Dade City area unique.
Casper Joseph Nathe came to what is now known as St. Joseph and planted an acre of the fruit trees in 1912.
The Nathe family used the fruit for preserves and orders started coming in. In less than 15 years, Florida Grower magazine crowned Casper Nathe “the world’s Kumquat King.”
Since the town of St. Joseph was already known as the Kumquat Capital of the World, the chamber decided that this little fruit with the funny name could be the focus of an annual Kumquat Festival.
Thousands stream to historic downtown Dade City each year to attend the festival, which is held on the last Saturday in January.
The event features local music, arts and crafts, and myriad opportunities to sample the fruit, whether it be kumquat pie, marmalade, cookies, salsa, ice cream, or a sip of kumquat beer.
This year, besides playing its starring role at the annual festival, the tart-tasting fruit also will be the centerpiece for the annual Dade City Garden Club Christmas ornament, which honors the Kumquat Festival.
Ornaments are $22, payable by check to The Dade City Garden Club, and can be purchased at The Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce, 14112 Eighth St.
For information, call (352) 567-3769.
Published October 09, 2019