The LaBelle Swamp Cabbage Festival is held every year on the last full weekend in February in LaBelle at Barron Park.
It is a local celebration (parade, music, food, entertainment) to honor the official state tree, the sabal (cabbage) palm, by eating it. The heart of the cabbage palm is prepared into swamp cabbage or fritters (each a southern Florida Cracker vegetable delicacy) and the focus of the celebration. So, if you've got a hankering for swamp cabbage or just want to see what it looks like... or taste it, then this festival is for you.
The festival was started back in 1965. Old Man Riggs (being a 1969 graduate of LaBelle High) remembers the first Swamp Cabbage Festival and had the honor of being classmates with the first of the Swamp Cabbage Queens ever to exist. Yee Hah!
The Swamp Cabbage parade begins at 10:00 am Saturday morning and contains lots of home-grown floats decorated with swamp cabbage palm fronds. Immediately following, we all crowd into the park and sample the southern "swamp" cuisines and listen to live music at the main stage in the park.
The festival usually features around a 100 booths vending crafts and foods. Typically there are armadillo races and a rodeo.
For pictures of the festival, entertainment, food, products, etc. CLICK HERE or use the menus to navigate to the other pages containing more photos and information.
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Check the above "official" websites
for a more
Visit the following websites below for even more info:
Sunday Morning News for Hendry, Glades, and Western Palm Beach County
City of LaBelle's Official Website Swamp Cabbage Festival Contact Information
The Sabal Palm (Swamp Cabbage Tree) Info from Master Gardener Online
Hendry County Regional Recipes from GoHendry.com
River Recipes (includes diagram of tree and cutting instructions)
Northwest Florida Daily News - Swamp Cabbage Recipes
Smithsonian Institution - Smithsonian Journeys - Recipes From Another Time
Rotary Club of LaBelle and their events including the Armadillo Races
created 2-27-98, rev 02/21/09
©1998 - 2009 Dennis E. Riggs, All rights reserved.