Possum festival makes plans around COVID-19

Local News

WAUSAU, Fla. (WMBB) — Event organizers for the annual Possum Festival in Wausau are getting creative with planning this year’s event.

The Florida Development Club has made adjustments to the beloved festival that are suitable for social distancing.

Wausau’s 51st Possum Festival will still feature some of the traditional events like the parade and the Possum King and Queen competition.

“We’re gonna be doing a virtual possum king and queen contest, and we also plan on having a parade for fun day,” said James Walsingham, the chairman for the Possum Festival and Fun Day. “We’re still planning on selling the pancakes we sell for fun day and we’re going to do a possum auction and also a quilt auction after the parade.”

Walsingham said they want the community to still be fired up about this year’s event because the annual festival is more than just a day of fun, it’s a day aimed toward improving the community.

The Possum Festival is a huge fundraiser for Wausau and the funds are used for needed improvements around the area.

“These funds help us do things like build fences for the recreation department, the possum palace that was built was brought in by this event,” Walsingham said.

The 2019 Possum King, Olen Pettis, said he is looking forward to the virtual event. He said the virtual Possum King and Queen competition opens the door for new contestants that may not be comfortable “strutting their stuff” in front of a big crowd.

“This is something that we are able to participate in and our participation in this is what will sustain this for 51 years to come,” Pettis said.

To sign up to participate in the Possum King and Queen competition those who are interested are encouraged to call Wausau City Hall. It is free to participate and the new king and queen will receive a prize of 500 dollars.

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