Lake Placid, Florida holds the titles of “Caladium Capital of the World” and “Town of Murals.” Friday, I visited the annual Caladium Festival which celebrates one of the town’s prized nicknames. The 2015 Caladium Festival features a wide variety of caladiums and caladium bulbs, but they are just one section of many vendor booths at Stuart Park.
The Henscratch Farms: Vineyard and Winery booth was my first stop. I’m a sucker for wine tastings, but this booth also contained basil grape seed oil samples.
I sampled the Country Red, Country White, Country Blueberry, and Country Raspberry wines. I loved the sweetness of the Country Red made with Muscadine grapes, and ended up purchasing a bottle for $14. The wine grapes used at Henscratch Farms are all native to America; growing from North Carolina to Florida. They are holding their annual grape stomp on August 8, 2015 where you can stomp your own wine! If you live further away, you can purchase their wines at the Henscratch Farms website.
The number one reason why I return to the festival each year is the Strawberry Shortcake made by the lovely Ladies of the Elks Lodge. I offered a taste to my mom while she was volunteering at another booth, but had to pry it from her hands to get the remaining bites!
Lake Placid, FL is where 95 percent of the world’s caladiums are grown which is why the bulbs sell out so quickly at this festival. The elephant earesque plant pops up in the spring and summer time and then lays dormant for the late fall to winter seasons. Bright red and dark green varieties of caladiums are most popular around town. My favorites are the pale green to almost white varieties because they offer great contrast over mostly dark green lawns.
Taste testing yet again! I really enjoyed the sweet barbecue and spicy mango sauce from the Hey Mon! Caribbean Cooking Magic booth. The spicy mango sauce is sweet with a slight kick while the barbecue sauce is sweet with a tropical flavor. I’m really picky about barbecue sauce because my dad makes an excellent one, but this bbq blend past my taste test. All sauces may be purchased at the Hey Mon! website. They also own a restaurant located in Tampa.
There were a plethora of craft vendors present this year ranging from jewelry to stained glass panels. I found some interesting art at the Mountain Dan Art booth where the owner carved and painted all of his items. Kudos to him for the cheeky placement of the mermaid statue near the town tax collector sign. He is located in Sebring, FL and can be reached at 828-290-3429.
Here are my purchases on my overly cluttered dresser. Hey Mon Spicy Mango Sauce, Henscratch Farms Country Red Florida Muscadine Wine, and Granny Gail’s Goodies Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Bread (Super yummy).
I’m ending this post with the Stuart park Black bear and cub sculpture because it is one of my favorite pieces in Lake Placid. Let me know if you enjoyed this post in the comments below!