Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cooter Festival 2010

As many of you know by now, we’ve been in Florida over the weekend looking for a home for when we relocate there next month.  We drove down on Friday night, found our house on Saturday, and filled out the paperwork on Sunday morning.  That’s when the fun began…
The Real Estate office handling the property we wanted is in Inverness, Florida, which is between our house and Barrie’s work.  After we completed the necessary paperwork and gave them a check, Barrie took me into downtown Inverness to the “Great American Cooter Festival!”  They hold it in Inverness every year.  Even better, Barrie told me I could have whatever I wanted while I was there!  Is she a great wife or what? 
We wandered around for a while, looking at the various products for sale.  Not surprisingly, there were quite a few.  There was even a T-shirt stand where you could buy a T-shirt commemorating your visit to the Cooter Festival.
While we were walking around, we saw a long, skinny boat, similar to a boat used in rowing competitions but with a dragon’s head and tail, filled with about 10 old guys who were rowing to a drum beat.  I laughingly told Barrie those were “old cooters.” 
We both got something to eat and a big glass of lemonade and looked for a place to sit down for a while.  Nothing like a cold lemonade when you’re knee deep in Cooter, that’s for sure.  We found a table across the street from the Cooter Festival, next to a red caboose that said “Withlacoochie” on the side.  We ate and talked for a while and decided we’d had our fill of Cooters for the day.  So it was time to go. 
We drove down to Clearwater Beach just to see the ocean.  On the way we were noticing how funny some of the signs and billboards were.  We passed “Waxin’ Willie’s”, and “Captain John’s Hair Pieces.”   In Weekee Wachee we passed the place where they hold the mermaid show.  On the sign it said “Swimming our tails off since 1947.”  We passed a restaurant called “Felonies” and weren’t sure we’d be welcome there.  And we passed a large sign that said “All you can eat legs.”  (I think it was a sea food restaurant.)
All in all it was a fun day.  We toyed with the idea of having lunch at Hooters so I could say I had Cooters in the morning and Hooters in the afternoon, but we never actually got there.  I did, however, come back with a really nice T-shirt that says “I got my Cooter in Inverness, Florida.”  How many people have that?
Oh, by the way – a Cooter is a fresh water turtle that is native to Eastern North America and the festival is in celebration of that turtle.  I’m not sure what you were thinking….


  1. cooter |ˈkoōtər|
    a North American river turtle with a dull brown shell and typically having yellow stripes on the head. • Genus Pseudemys, family Emydidae: several species, in particular P. concinna, some races of which are known as sliders.
    ORIGIN early 19th cent.: of unknown origin.
    Yep, I thought it was something polite folk didn't mention in public.

  2. Many call them painted turtles. Most people think the worst when they hear about the Cooter Festival. That's why they have it in the first place. If I designed the T-shirts I'd make one that says "Man, I just love Cooters!"