GOOD NEWS: 10th ANNUAL FLORIDA LOQUAT FESTIVAL IS COMING UP
March 18, 2023
New Port Richey, Florida
Frances Ave. Park ~ 6156 Louisiana Avenue, 34653
Ecology Florida and New Port Richey FarmNet with support of the City of New Port Richey, will host the 10th annual Florida Loquat Festival on Saturday, March 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Frances Avenue Park (6156 Louisiana Avenue, 34653) in New Port Richey. The only loquat festival in the United States.
The festival is a learning and sharing event to help expand the knowledge and appreciation of the loquat tree and its fruit. There will be presentations on the cultivation of loquat trees, various uses of the fruit and leaves, and presentations about community markets and agrarianism.
A very warm (“new normal”) winter has caused a very early ripening of fruit this year. Because of this early ripening we may have less fruit that usual. We will have preserves and other products, and fresh fruit as well — just not be as much as previous years.
As with other fruit festivals, loquat fruit production is subject to weather conditions, and this year heat was severe enough to impact the timing of fruit development.
A major feature of the festival will be the trees, from seedlings and saplings to large trees. Green Dreams, a major force in the sustainable food and culture movement, will be with us at the festival, offering a wide assortment of loquat trees, ready for planting.
Green Dreams has been the festival’s primary nursery for several years, and this year it will offer its widest selection yet of high-quality named varieties. Other nurseries will have smaller trees at lower prices, including seedlings for $5. For best selection of the trees, please come early.
Another important part of the festival is education. Presentations will include instructions on the role of the loquat in sustainable farming and gardening, the use of leaves for tea and health care, and the cultural context of this wonderful tree. We also will have a special presentation featuring “The Loquat Singer,” Dr. Roy Kaplan.
The Florida Loquat Festival in New Port Richey, Florida is the only loquat festival in the United States of America. “There are loquat festivals in other parts of the world, including China and Japan, but New Port Richey it home to only one in the USA” said Dell deChant, one of the event’s organizers.
The festival opens at 10:00 a.m. and runs until 2:00 p.m. at Frances Avenue Park in New Port Richey (6156 Louisiana Ave., 34653).
The festival will have preserves, seeds, trees, recipes, brochures, lectures, poetry books, and fresh fruit. There will also be related events in downtown New Port Richey in week before the festival – including the annual loquat beer tapping on March 15th. Festival shirts will also be available.
HERE IS WHAT YOU’LL FIND AT THIS YEAR’S FESTIVAL:
Loquat Preserves (jellies, jams, compotes)
Loquat Pastries and scones
Loquat Trees (seedlings to saplings to small mature trees)
Loquat Festival T-Shirts
Loquat Poetry Books
At the Festival:
Friendship Farms – Trees
New Port Richey FarmNet – Fruit
The Blarney Scone – Scones
Mom’s Kitchen (Lori Peterson) – Preserves
Organic Presence (Barbara Klepper)– Preserves
White Heron Tea and Gifts – Tea & Skincare lotion
Gone Juicing – Loquat Juice
Green Dreams – Trees
In Downtown New Port Richey:
Cotee River Brewery – Beer
Wright’s Natural Market – Smoothies and Fruit (at Wright’s Market)
White Heron Tea and Gifts – Tea & Skincare lotion (at White Heron Tea & Gifts)
Rose’s Bistro – Loquat Pies (at Rose’s Bistro)
Gone Juicing – Loquat Juice (at Gone Juicing) 4036 Madison Street, New Port Richey, FL 34652
Sponsored and Supported by:
New Port Richey FarmNet
City of New Port Richey
Cotee River Brewery
City of New Port Richey Parks & Recreation Department
City of New Port Richey Public Works Department
City of New Port Richey Environmental Committee
White Heron Tea & Gifts
The Loquat Trees of the New Port Richey community