Jump start your New Year this January with a trip to the World’s Largest Frog Leg Festival. This downhome tradition is a must-visit attraction in Fellsmere, Fla., a charming small town in Indian River County that knows how to have some good, old-fashioned Florida fun. But this festival is anything but small — in fact, it holds two Guiness Book world records and has become a tradition for locals and visitors alike.
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The 29th annual Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival runs Jan. 16-19, 2020, at 22 S. Orange St. at the Fellsmere City Hall Complex. This four-day event is expected to welcome 60,000 to 100,000 people to enjoy frog leg and gator tail dinners, as well as amusement rides, craft vendors, live music and more. Even your furry friends can join in on the fun, as long as your dog is on a leash. Event admission and parking are both free, making it an affordable family adventure as well. With so much to enjoy at this festival, it’s hard to squeeze in all the fun in just one day. Many visitors make their trip to the festival a weekend getaway, complete with a stay at fabulous hotels in the area like Capt. Hiram’s Resort or Best Western Sebastian.
What makes this festival a truly unique experience is its namesake dish that has become a local delicacy. The food is authentic to the region, as Fellsmere is known as the Frog Leg Capital of the World, and this Southern staple is a Florida favorite in which every visitor needs to indulge. The festival has grown from serving 400 dinners in the first year to more than 7,000 frog leg dinners just last year. The event also holds the Guinness World Record for Most Frog Legs Served in One Business Day and the official title of The Largest Frog Leg Festival in the World.
For those ready to chow down, you can choose from a menu of mouth-watering frog legs or gator tail served on a stick, by the pound or in a generous portion with a side of grits, coleslaw and hushpuppies. Can’t decide which one to try? You can also order a combo of frog legs and gator tail, both fried to perfection and served up with Southern-style sides. If you don’t feel like partaking in the local frog leg delicacy, you can satisfy your appetite with a smorgasbord of old-fashioned fair foods like turkey legs, corn dogs, gyros, kabobs and more. For those with a sweet tooth, take your pick between funnel cakes and fried snickers — because who really sticks to their New Year’s resolutions, right?
But there’s more to this quintessential small town festival than unique eats. Visitors can hop on a variety of carnival rides and roller coasters, and maybe even win a prize at one of the quirky games. Ticket prices range from $1.25 per ticket to ticket packages of $20-$25, and some proceeds from the event will help raise funds for the recreational needs for the children of Fellsmere. Live musical acts will hit the stage for some entertainment while you eat, ride, and enjoy the festival. And you won’t want to miss the artisan vendors set up during the event. While festival T-shirts are a popular souvenir, you can take home something truly unique from one of the many crafters on hand.
Hop on over to Indian River County and enjoy the world-renowned Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival, where unique food and old Florida fun come together for a flavorful and family-friendly event. Discover why this festival has become a can’t-miss event for so many Floridians and visitors, and add this downhome tradition to your bucket list.