Previewing the 2019 Caladium Festival
by DAPHNE RENELUS
If you live in the Lake Placid area, do not miss out on one of the city’s best festival events – the 29th annual Caladium Festival of course! The Caladium Festival was created in 1990 as an ode to the beautiful caladium plants that grow in the Lake Placid, FL area. In fact, Lake Placid is known as “The Caladium Capital of the World.” In case you are wondering what caladium plants look like, they are typically a collection of big heart shaped leaves with a combination of bright pink, white, red, and green on them.
In 1990, two competing Lake Placid caladium family plant growers, the Phypers and the Bates, started putting the first Caladium Festival together. Over the years the festival has become larger and larger with new Lake Placid neighborhoods added to the Festival’s venue and more and more companies getting involved through sponsorships, donations, and assistance.
As the Caladium Festival continues to be a Lake Placid staple, over the course of decades, new generations of the original caladium growers have become involved in both The Caladium Festival and the caladium farming business in general. In fact, it is the profits gained from selling potted caladium plants grown by newer generations of the Bates family and caladium bulbs grown in the Phyper’s Happiness Farms that has kept The Caladium Festival running in recent years.
The Caladium Festival first uses all its proceeds, including donations, to first pay off expenses. The rest of the proceeds are then saved for the cost of future festivals. Some donations even go to worthy causes in the Lake Placid community, like the Lake Placid Police Department, Lake Placid Schools, the Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce, and more. Through the hard work of donators, volunteers, and vendors, the festival continues to be a success.
If you are still debating on whether to attend the 2019 Caladium Festival or not, I am here to tell you that at this year’s festival there is something for everyone to enjoy. If you enjoy eating food, then you will enjoy all the local food provided by different food vendors at the festival. The festival also has countless other vendors and booths filled with arts and crafts and musical entertainment, along with other family fun activities. Some other events that will be at this year’s Caladium Festival include a car and bike show, a floral arrangement competition, an art competition, a 5K race, bus tours of the city, wine and beer tasting, clowns, and more.
If you win the Caladium Festival Art Contest 2019, the festival will use your artwork for posters, t-shirts, advertisements, brochures, and more. Just make sure you follow the contest rule of having caladiums in your artwork.
The entry fee for pre-registration for the car and bike show is $15.00 if paid early and $20.00 if paid the day of the show. Pre-registration for the car and bike show closes on July 25 at noon. If you are the first 150 people registered for the car and bike show, you will receive dash plaques and goody bags. To be in the festival’s Dr. Tom McDonald 5K race, you must register by 6:30 a.m., July 27th. The 5K race begins at 7:00 a.m., July 27th. If you want to take one of the bus tours around Lake Placid, the reservation to do so is $12.00 per tour until July 25th at noon. If you choose to not pay for your bus tour early, you will have to pay $15.00 per tour.
Since 2007, the Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce have run the Caladium Festival. The Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce is holding this year’s Caladium Festival in Stuart Park on Interlake Boulevard, in Lake Placid on July 26 – 28, 2019.
From the variety of activities at this year’s festival, it is obvious that the 2019 Caladium Festival will be something that everyone from a 5-year-old child to a grown adult will enjoy. Not only are the activities provided at the Caladium Festival diverse, but so is the entire vibe of the festival. In fact, the Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors made a conscious effort to incorporate different significant aspects of Lake Placid’s economy, heritage, and culture in the festival this year. So, what are you waiting for? Make plans to attend the Caladium Festival today!