Festival & rodeo this weekend

OKEECHOBEE – This weekend brings the annual Speckled Perch Festival and the Okeechobee Cowtown Rodeo.

Okeechobee Main Street welcomes everyone to the Speckled Perch Festival in Flagler Park in downtown Okeechobee on Saturday, March 14, and Sunday, March 15. The festival began in 1965 as a community fish fry. Modern festivals can no longer serve speckled perch, because it is not commercially harvested and thus does not meet the state health regulations; however, the festival will include a variety of food options, as well as arts and crafts booths, games and entertainment.

The festival parade will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The Okeechobee Cattlemen’s Association will drive cattle at the end of the parade.

The Cowtown Rodeo will be held Saturday, March 14, and Sunday, March 15, at the Okeechobee Cattlemens Rodeo Arena, 1885 U.S. 441 N. Gates open at 1 p.m. each day. Mutton Bustin’ starts at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the gate. Children age 5 and under are admitted free.

Tickets are on sale at Eli’s Western Wear in Okeechobee and online at TheOkeechobeeRodeo.com.

The Okeechobee Cattlewomen’s Association will host a rodeo dinner/dance on Saturday, March 14 at the Brahman Bull, 2405 U.S. 441 S.E. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Live music starts at 7 p.m. The dance starts at 9 p.m.

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