TBT: 1997 Possum Queen

Winter Garden was once home of the annual Cracker Festival.

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Wearing a sheer, lacy white curtain (complete with the rod), using her grandson Jonathon Appleman as possum bait and hollering “Ocoee” in a loud, raucous hog call, Marcella Sisler joined the ranks of five other West Orange County residents and was crowned Possum Queen at Winter Garden’s 1997 Cracker Festival.

Sisler received a crown and plaque and got to meet Chuck, the possum owned by Dr. John Miller.

And it was all documented in an April 1997 issue of The West Orange Times.

This annual festival was sponsored by Main Street Winter Garden and the Winter Garden Rotary Club and offered traditional Florida food, bluegrass music and arts and crafts.

One of the highlights of the festival was the Possum Pageant, in which seemingly regular folks dressed in bizarre outfits and acted foolish in hopes of luring the possum across their finish line. After all, a crown and plaque and chance to interact with a pet possum were at stake.


Contact Amy Quesinberry at [email protected].


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