Wausau Celebrates 48th Annual Possum Festival

WAUSAU, Fla. - The Wausau community celebrates the 48th year of its favorite marsupial at their annual Possum Festival.

But why possums?

created the event back in the 1970s, and said that there's Groundhog's Day, and in some areas they celebrate creatures like the mullet fish or a bow eagle. But in Wausau -- they honor the possum.

In fact, they dedicate a festival, statue and even Possum Palace in honor of them.

People from all ages attended the festival, and some people, like John Smith and his friend Eric even drove through the night in order to be there.

"Sitting around the house last night and remembered it was Possum Festival, called him up and said 'hey man you want to go for a six hour drive from Sarasota overnight to get to the Possum Festival?' and here we are," said Smith.

Though some were disappointed about there not being any possum meat, real life possums were actually auctioned off to a few lucky bidders.

With live music, vendors, and tons of people, the festival itself did not disappoint.

In fact, two candidates for governor made the festival a top priority on their campaign trail.

Apparently myth says that in order to land a political seat, you must attend the festival's kick off parade -- and Democrat Gwen Graham and Republican Adam Putnam were there meeting with constituents and enjoying the festival themselves.

"It's so fun to be back and be able to see everyone again, and we'll be back a lot, North Florida is going to be really important to our campaign -- even when it's not the Possum Festival, but the Possum Festival is a special thing," said Graham.

"Northwest Florida, the whole Panhandle is a critical part of anyone's success running state-wide in Florida, and as the Commissioner of Agriculture, I've gotten to spend a lot of time out here with all of our small towns and all of our rural communities, and I've made rural economic development a priority," said Putnam.

The two will continue their campaigns through the state - but will be back in the Panhandle.

As for Possum Festival, if you missed the fun this year -- mark your calendars for the first Saturday in August for the 49th annual Possum Festival next year.

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