Fellsmere Florida

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Nothing can be as unusual as the Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival! Every January all roads lead to the City Hall of Fellsmere, Florida when frog legs and gator tails are the main meal attractions. The variety on the menu is to be seen to be believed. It is a full-fledged fun filled festival with games and rides and live entertainment, every night for four nights. Local crafts persons have their goods on sale and it is an annual occasion for feasting and frolic.

Fellsmere in Indian River County in east central Florida has other attractions too. It is only a few minutes away from the beaches and the Melbourne & Vero Beach Mall. Located about 90 miles south of Orlando and 90 north of West Palm Beach, Fellsmere is a small town of about 4700 people largely of Hispanic origin. There has been a recent increase in the population as a large number of young persons have emigrated here from Latin American countries in the nineties. The main occupation is agriculture followed by forestry, fishing, hunting, and mining.

Founded in 1911, Fellsmere has been named after E. Nelson Fell, one of the original settlers. It is believed that the name is a combination of the founder's name "Fell" and the word "mere," which means "a watery place." Citrus orchards have been planted in the area from the early days. Little has changed in the area since those early days of farming – oranges and grapefruit are still grown here. Thousands of acres of citrus trees now surround Fellsmere, as the warm climate is ideal for growing the fruit. The famous ‘Indian River Citrus’ is produced here by Fellsmere Farms. The local population could do with a hand when it is time for the fruit to be picked and the population swells by almost five hundred people in the season.

Fellsmere offers a quiet rural lifestyle and visitors come for the peace and tranquility as much as for the outdoor recreation and sunny weather. Fellsmere and the rest of Indian River Country offer some of the finest fishing in Florida. It is not uncommon for anglers to travel between Blue Cypress Lake, which is about 25 miles west of Fellsmere and the Stick Marsh in order to land a good catch of bass. It is a popular region for second homes and the neighborhood is dotted with large well-maintained country properties, mostly residential, country homes and hobby farms.

In addition to the famous Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival that is an occasion for fun and merriment in the third week in January, Fellsmere has its annual Birthday celebrations on the 3rd or 4th Saturday in February. This too is an occasion for much rejoicing and entertainment. The city comes alive with parades, music, art and craft displays and much food and drink. The festival begins with a delicious pancake breakfast, which is the talk of the town. The parade is so long that the beginning meets the end!

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