Our team spent a sunny afternoon at the Swamp Cabbage Festival in LaBelle, Florida to discover the city’s unique southern culture.
While many South Florida inhabitants find themselves frequently enjoying tropical salads topped with beloved hearts of palm, the folks of LaBelle, Florida know that special ingredient is actually a vegetable more modestly named, “swamp cabbage.” Not only do LaBelle residents recognize the indigenous plant, they celebrate it. Every February, on the last weekend of the month, locals come together to revel in the down-home phenomenon known as the Swamp Cabbage Festival.
Upon arrival, it is evident that this small Southwest Florida city is packed with tradition. Vendors rush to set up tents, eager to share their southern delicacies with the bustling crowds. The smell of freshly cooked alligator permeates through the air. The street fills up with hundreds anxiously awaiting the parade. Animals are transported onto the festival grounds. Armadillos and horses are the stars of the day. The atmosphere is wild and the energy is kinetic.
Every aspect of the festival may come as surprise for an out-of-towner. The days activities include armadillo races, a rodeo, and hand-painted signs advertising alligator bites and fritters.
The Hello SWFL content creators were given one hour and a half to create a meaningful storyline through video. Each team member had their own perception of the festival and portrayed its diverse array of entertainment from their own, unique perspective as displayed below: