By Deb Alberto
For Hometown News
BREVARD -- Florida has a long and rich history of turning fruits and vegetables into reasons to celebrate.
Winter Haven has its Citrus Festival, and Plant City is known for its annual Strawberry Festival. In Florida, there are festivals, celebrating mangoes, blueberries, even garlic.
But until recently, there had not been a festival honoring Florida's official pie, the Key Lime Pie. So, Louie Morehead, owner of the Cocoa-based Key Lime Factory, set out to change that.
Saturday, Jan. 18 marks the third anniversary of the Florida Key Lime Festival, and this year's festivities will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Kiwanis Park on Merritt Island.
The event promises something for everyone, including a Key Lime Pie-eating contest, a Miss Key Lime Pageant and competitions to see who can make the best Key Lime Martini and margarita to who can make the best hot sauce.
For the not so competitive, there will be culinary demonstrations and plenty of entertainment, including steel drums and music from the band Hypersona, the Orlando House of Blues house band.
"It's a family event, and we want to have something for everyone," Mr. Morehead said.
Pennsylvania-based fire breather and chain saw juggler, Brady Wegerler, also known as "Klass Klown," will be back again this year to entertain guests with his extreme stunts, and the honorary Key West Mayor Gonzo Mays will travel up from Key West to make an appearance.
There will be alligator shows, tiki hut demonstrations and, of course, plenty of key lime pie and other food.
Organizers expect a crowd of about 5,000 attendees this year.
"Our venue, this year, is a park with tennis courts, racquet ball courts, and it's right on the water," Mr. Morehead said. "We welcome people to come out and spend the day and even go fishing if they feel like it."
Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. Children 4 and younger are admitted for free.
For more information about this year's event, visit www.keylimefestival.com.