On March 21, the city of Clewiston will host its annual Sugar Festival, bringing together the best in food, arts and crafts, music and entertainment. The event will be held in Clewiston’s downtown Sugar Festival field, which is less than a two hour drive from Naples. The festival is free for all ages.
Historically, the Sugar Festival has celebrated of the end of sugarcane harvest season, which now runs through the end of April. Clewiston has always been known as a farming and fishing community, the Sugar Festival brings together people who are involved in both our bountiful lands and beautiful lake. Whether you are young in age and interested in free activities at our kids’ park, or young at heart and interested in hearing great country music, there’s something for everyone at the Sugar Festival.
This year, the Sugar Festival features top Nashville talent such as David Lee Murphy, Maddie & Tae and Billboard platinum recording artist Justin Moore. Moore’s latest album, “Late Nights and Longnecks” debuted last year as the No. 2 Country Album in America. Over the years, the Sugar Festival has earned its place as one of the best live country music festivals in Southwest Florida, bringing together up-and-coming artists with established artists to ensure there’s country music for every generation.
To show our appreciation for the generations of farmers that have produced food for American families on our nearby farms, the Sugar Festival also has the largest collection of antique tractors in the United States. Although the Sugar Festival happens once a year, local mechanics keep the tractors running year round to preserve a part of our region’s history. These antique tractors, which include original Case and John Deere models, have been fully restored and will be “cranked up” throughout the day for the public to see.
The festival will also include a “Sweet Taste” contest, which brings out the best in the sweetest culinary delights. Following the contest, guests will have the opportunity to bid on the winning desserts. Although the desserts are sweet, the sweetest thing you may encounter in Clewiston is our people. We are known as “America’s Sweetest Town” not only because we grow sugarcane, but also because our locals are known to bring out the best in Southern hospitality.
All residents of the Naples area are encouraged to attend our annual Clewiston Sugar Festival. Anyone with questions can visit www.clewistonsugarfestival.com or call the Clewiston Chamber of Commerce at (863) 983-7979. Hillary Hyslope is the executive director of the Clewiston Chamber of Commerce and the President of the Clewiston Sugar Festival Executive Committee.