Panama City Beach – It’s possum time in Wausau Annual festival kicks off Saturday

WAUSAU — If you’re in the mood for possum, you’re in luck.

The Wausau Possum Festival and Funday will celebrate its 40th year this weekend. The fun begins at 7 p.m. today with the Possum King and Queen pageant. Most events will take place at the Possum Palace on Forest Street off State 77.

Sam Rudd, chief of the local Wausau Volunteer Fire Department, said more contestants pre-registered for the Possum King and Queen contest this year than in any in recent memory.  “This tongue-in-cheek beauty contest held on Friday … draws some interesting characters from the area, and the prize money, along with the crown of king or queen of the festival, provides bragging rights for the entire year,” Rudd said.

Saturday’s festivities will begin with a fun-run/walk, and a parade down State 77 through downtown Wausau is slated for 10 a.m. Keltcee Berry, who was crowned Miss Funday in the annual pageant July 24. She will be joined by other pageant queens.  The festival, which draws visitors from all over the Southeast, celebrates the possum, a marsupial that thrives in this part of Florida and helped the local population survive the Great Depression in the early 20th century.

For more information about the Wausau Possum Festival, visit www.WausauPossumFestival.com.

Saturday’s schedule

7:30 a.m.: Possum Trot 5K/Run-Walk

9 a.m.: Invocation and welcome

9:30-10 a.m.: Johnna Kay Pierce

10 a.m.: 40th Annual Funday Parade

10-11 a.m.: Dixieland Grass

11-11:15 a.m.: Cornpone Baking Contest winners announced

11:15-11:45 a.m.: Johnna Kay Pierce

11:45 a.m.:12:05 p.m.: Flag-raising and national anthem

12:05 p.m.: Announcement of funds- USDA/rural development

12:05-12:30 p.m.: Possum and quilt auction

12:30-1:15 p.m.: Guest speakers

1:15-1:45 p.m.: Royal City

1:45-2:15 p.m.: Hog callin’ and rooster crowin’

2:15-3 p.m.: Royal City

3-4 p.m.: Dixieland Grass

4-5 p.m.: Johnna Kay Pierce

5-6 p.m.: Antique Car Show

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