110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Pat Andrews
posted Oct 12, 2013 - 12:11:01pm
The folks at Enterprise Preservation Society have hosted 12 annual Old Enterprise Festivals, and the festivals have become more popular every year.
This year's installment is set for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at Mariner's Cove Park at 1199 Enterprise Osteen Road. Admission is free.
This year, the 13th annual installment of the Old Enterprise Festival will offer a new twist: worm-charming.
No, that's not a typo.
"Basically, the challenge involves driving up the slippery creatures to the surface by mimicking the sound of digging moles — without using tools for actual digging or pouring liquids in the ground," festival Chairwoman Carol Aymar explained.
"It's all in the name of humor and entertainment," she added.
Aymar discovered a worm-charming competition during a visit to England, and proposed a similar competition for the festival.
EPS Chairman Mark Matzinger was charmed by the idea, and the notion took off, she said.
Matzinger researched worm-charming and learned that Canada, and parts of the Southeast U.S., including the town of Sopchoppy in Florida, hold annual worming-up events that generate considerable enthusiasm. There's even an international competition every year in England.
And, it's a lot safer than charming cobras.
So, Matzinger and the festival committee have been nailing down logistics for the event.
According to EPS worm-charming rules, which ensure no damage to the grounds, a grand worm-master will announce and oversee the competition.
Competitive teams will consist of three members: a charmer, a picker, and a counter.
"Worm-cheat police" will proctor the contest to make sure there's no cheating.
Two judges will decide the winning team, which will win a trophy, bragging rights, "paparazzi-like media coverage," a gift certificate to a local restaurant, and a lifetime supply of earthworms, Aymar said.
Since it is the first worm-charming competition for the festival, the number of teams will be limited to around six, on a first-come, first-served basis. Teams must sign up at the EPS membership booth the day of the festival, and pay a $5 entry fee.
The festival is free and open to all, however. So is worm-charming-watching.
Other new events include a theatrical performance of a trip down the St. Johns River on the Darlington, an 1800s-frontier general store, and a unique Florida Cracker exhibit, complete with Cracker horses.
The traditional Old Enterprise Festival events will be back, including live music on stage — including Enterprise's Rog Lee — and fiddling under the trees, corn-hole and ladder-ball games, and bounce houses for the kids.
Stilt-walker Mike Weakley, a festival favorite, will be back, too, along with food for sale, including the traditional Old Enterprise barbecue by Mr. Charles, hamburgers and hot dogs.
For more information, call Aymar at 407-324-3766, or visit the EPS website at www.oldenterprise.org.
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