DADE CITY, Fla. — It's a family event at Lanky Lassie's Shortbread store in downtown Dade City.
Owner Mary Katherine Sauter has a little extra help this week and is trading in her signature shortbreads for those with kumquats.
The festival is a chance for her to not only show off her shop but the community she loves.
"Dade City is just this little gem of a city and more and more we're reaching out on social media and people are finding out how special and unique Dade City is," Sauter said.
The city boasts a population of about 7,100 people. The quaint neighborhood feels like a step back in time when things were simpler. The hometown warmth is echoed in the annual kumquat festival where locally made is just that.
The products and goods found at Saturday's festival will more than likely come from Greg Gudy's grove.
"The festival has helped reintroduce kumquats. It helped people find out about them. The pie was the hit. The pie my mother created," Gudy said.
Gudy has been in the business of kumquats since 1971.
He's seen the small, orange fruit flourish in its hay day and also take a hit in 2015 with disease and disaster from greening.
"Financially, it hurts. I mean to be able to stay in business we had to sell some property to be able to get there," Gudy said.
New trees have been planted and about 750 bushels of kumquats have been picked this year. It's a drastic change from the 350 tons that was once picked at Gudy's grove.
Despite the challenges, the show and the tasting must go on.
So, how does one really eat a kumquat?
"When you eat a kumquat you eat the peeling and all. The inside is tart. The outside is sweet. If you squeeze the kumquat it releases the oil that's in there. You just do this and then you pop it in your mouth and eat the whole fruit like you would a grape and you're not allowed to make a face," Gudy said.
Like the kumquat, Dade City is small and adorable but it has a big flavor when you really dig in.
The Dade City annual kumquat festival will be held Saturday, January 29 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Parking is free and open to the public. For more information about the event and vendors visit kumquatfestival.org.