The Wausau Quilters are busy putting the finishing touches on the quilt that will be auctioned off at this year’s 49th Annual Wausau Possum Festival & Fun Day. This fundraising event has been on the agenda for as many years as we can remember, and bragging rights to own this coveted quilt are anxiously sought by many.
The festivities will actually get underway on Saturday, July 28, with the Wausau Little King & Queen Pageant.
The Possum King & Queen Contest will be held the night before the Possum Festival … on Friday, August 3, at 7 p.m. at the Possum Palace.
And then, on Saturday, August 4, beginning with a pancake breakfast at the Wausau Masonic Lodge at 6 a.m., a full day of festivities is planned. A flag raising ceremony will be held at the Possum Palace at 8 a.m., and the Funday Parade will make its way through downtown Wausau at 10 a.m. Following the parade, a standing-room only crowd is expected at the Possum Palace as state and local political candidates gather for the famous Possum Auction. Local lore has it that a Florida gubernatorial candidate will not get elected unless he or she attends the Possum Festival and “shakes a Possum.” And, in addition to the quilt auction and possum auction, there will be plenty of good food and musical entertainment and contests and activities for the kids.
Arguably one of the most high-profile festivals in the Southeast, this event celebrates the opossum, a marsupial that thrives in this part of Florida. The old-timers tell how it helped the local population survive the great depression during the early 20th century. Festival organizers of this free event include the Town of Wausau, the Wausau Volunteer Fire Department and the Wausau Development Club.