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2018 Wausau Possum Festival Program

Official program for the 49th Annual Wausau Possum Festival on August 3 and 4, 2018, in historic Wausau, Florida.

Official program for the 49th Annual Wausau Possum Festival on August 3 and 4, 2018, in historic Wausau, Florida.

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August 2018

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Dedicated To The Memory of Charles W. Park, Sr.

Mr. Charles was a long-time resident of the town of Wausau, following

his retirement after 21 years in the U.S. Air Force. Following his

retirement, Charles began a second career with the Department of

Transportation, where he retired after 20 years of service.

Charles served the town as a council member and served as liaison

to the fire department. Always an advocate for the fire department,

he earned the affectionate title “RENEGADE BOSS”. As a member

of the department, Charles volunteered for many projects and was

always interested in making Wausau a better place to live. Charles

loved being a mechanic and working on cars, which he did until his

health began to fail. In his later years his joy came from his children

and grandchildren.

On September 4, 2015 Charles lost his wife Willie Mae Parks of 65

years and never got over the loss, passing away himself on November

2, 2017. Charles and Willie Mae have four children Billy/Joy Parks,

James/Valerie Parks, Janice Morris, Mike/Carol Parks and numerous

grandchildren.

Photos contributed by family members.

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Dedicated To The Memory of Paul Jerry Culbreth

On February 28, 1947 Paul Jerry Culbreth was born to Arrie and Sarah Culbreth

in Graceville, Florida, where he lived until he married Ivo Gail McAdams in 1969.

In 1971 their daughter, Shirley Gail Culbreth, was born and in January 1973

Paul began his military career in the National Guard. In 1974 he enlisted for full

military duty in the United States Army, serving honorably for 12 years. Upon

completion of his duty in the Army he had earned the rank of Staff Sergeant with

numerous awards. Upon returning home he began working at Brown’s Funeral

Home as an attendant, followed by work with the Washington County Road and

Bridge as Inmate Supervisor for several years. Paul worked with Obert’s Funeral

Home from 2009 to 2012, when his health began to fail.

Ever though he worked full time jobs he always found time to volunteer his cooking

skills wherever they were needed, and he helped at many fundraiser benefits.

He was member of the Wausau Volunteer Fire Dept., Wausau Masonic Lodge

#39, Optimist Club, Wausau Garden Club, Ferguson Cemetery Committee and

a member of the Wausau City Council, which he served proudly.

Paul was passionate about his family- daughter Shirley, grandchildren Mindy

Wolfe, Kelsie Wheeler, Cody Rightenburg, Zane Rightenburg, and great-grand

children Eryk Wheeler, Jaime Wheeler, Bentley Wheeler and Bailey Wolfe, whom

he spoiled rotten. All of the grandchildren say there is no other Papa like him.

The Wausau Possum Festival Program

is produced and published by

Now in Print, on Radio & TV and Online

MAGAZINE STAFF

Publisher- Real Florida Media

Editor- Paul Goulding

Production Manager- Debbie Goulding

Photographers- Ryan Ward, Debbie

Goulding, Tona Skipper, Ashley Canter

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Photos contributed by family members.

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Wausau Celebrates Northwest Florida Beauty with ‘Miss Funday’

One of the highlights of the Wausau Possum Festival is the ‘Miss Funday’ Pageant

(not to be confused with the ‘Possum King & Queen Contest’, held on the Friday

evening prior to the actual festival). The pageant is held on Saturday evening, one

week before the festival, and this year entertains a ‘Denim & Plaid’ theme. There

seems to be an unlimited supply of local beauties (and handsome young men) in

the area, and this pageant event draws several hundred attendees, all vying for the

coveted trophies, ribbons, crowns and bragging rights in several categories. Entire

galleries of these photos, as well as video clips and interviews from the last several

years, can be viewed at www.WausauPossumFestival.com.

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Wausau Celebrates Northwest Florida Beauty with ‘Miss Funday’

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Wausau Celebrates Northwest Florida Beauty with ‘Miss Funday’

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Welcome to the 49th Annual Wausau Possum Festival

Commencing in the early morning hours with a pancake

breakfast, progressing to a parade of seldom-seen size,

feature or quality, then moving to musical entertainment,

food and craft vendors and the world-famous Possum

Auction, the Wausau Possum Festival literally offers

something for everyone. Enjoy the history of the Possum

Festival in several photo galleries and video clips online at

www.WausauPossumFestival.com.

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Welcome to the 49th Annual Wausau Possum Festival

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SCHEDULE OF EVENTS AUGUST 4, 2018

6:00 - Pancake Breakfast at Wausau Masonic Lodge (Wausau, FL)

9:00 - Invocation and Welcome (Possum Palace)

9:15 - 10:15 - ‘Zion’s Way’ (Gospel @ Possum Palace)

10:00 - Big 49th Annual Fun Day Parade- (Downtown Wausau)

10:15 -11:15 - Billy Lipford - (Country @ Possum Palace)

11:15 - 11:30 - Corn Pone Baking- Winners Announced (Possum Palace)

11:30 - 12:00 - Flag Raising & National Anthem- (Possum Palace)

12:00 - 12:30 - Big Possum Auction & Quilt Auction- (Possum Palace)

12:30 - 1:30 - Political Guests - 3 minutes each (Possum Palace)

1:30 - 2:30 - ‘Cross Cut’ - (Bluegrass @ Possum Palace)

2:30 - 3:30 - ‘Zion’s Way’ (Gospel @ Possum Palace)

3:30 - 4:00 - Billy Lipford - (Country @ Possum Palace)

4:00 - 5:30 - ‘Hog Callin’ (Possum Palace)

FESTIVAL COMMITTEE

Founder: Mr. Dalton Carter

Chairman: Mr. Joe Tharp

Parade ChairPerson: Mrs. Margaret Riley

W.V.F.D. Chairman: Mr. Sam Rudd

Arts & Crafts Contact: (850) 638-1781

Entertainment Chairman: “Bunk” Corbin (850) 638-5023

Information at www.WausauPossumFestival.com

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Welcome to the Festival!

Welcome to the 49th Annual Funday and Possum

Festival. The Wausau Volunteer Fire Department

and the Wausau Development Club celebrates yet

another year of the festival that was conceived

by Dalton Carter in 1970. This year we continue

to feature our heritage as we enjoy a ‘Country-

Western’-themed pageant on July 28, the Saturday

before the festival activities. This adds another

element to the ‘retro’ effort of the festival, reviving

some of the former attractions of the event,

from greasy pole to sack racing to cross-cut saw

competition. Woman’s Day Magazine named the

Wausau Possum Festival ‘One of the ten most

unique festivals in America’ and we have garnered

national attention. We have been joined by

Florida Governors, including most recently, Rick

Scott. We have been fortunate to be highlighted

in media- both print and electronic- and people

are getting to know and recognize our small town

with the BIG festival, held on the first Saturday of

August.

The Funday Committee provides a wholesome

family event, with entertainment at absolutely no

cost to our guests, and we want all who attend to

feel welcome. More importantly, we want you to

leave with an appreciation for our volunteers. All

profits go directly to the Wausau Volunteer Fire

Department and Wausau Development Club, both

non-profit organizations, and our activities include

the Little Miss Funday Pageant, Possum King And

Queen Contests and much more.

The Fire Department uses these funds to improve

fire equipment and provide fire service to the

citizens of Washington County and the City of

Wausau. The Wausau Development Club primarily

utilizes the funds it receives to award scholarships

to deserving students in Washington County. We

want to thank the Washington County Sheriff’s

Office for their help, as well as all our volunteers

and sponsors. We especially thank you, as our

guest, because without you there would be no

festival. Again, welcome and thanks for attending!

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More Than You Need To Know About Wausau, Florida

The small town of Wausau, Florida, population just over

400, holds a very big title- ‘Possum Capital of the World’. To

celebrate this ubiquitous animal, the town holds an annual

Fun Day and Possum Festival, a totally free event on the

first Saturday in August, and the world is invited.

You’re likely to see local, regional and even national political

figures at the Wausau Possum Festival, especially during

election cycles, and the event was recently highlighted by

Women’s Day Magazine as one of the ‘world’s most unique

festivals’.

Admittedly one of the most unusual festivals you are likely

to attend, this event celebrates the Possum, a marsupial

which thrives in this part of Florida and which helped the

local population survive the Great Depression in the early

20th century.

Drawing attendees from all over the Southeast United

States, the event is always held the first Saturday in August,

and the scheduled entertainment includes Bluegrass,

Country and Gospel performers.

Arguably the hottest day of the year, the event includes a

large parade, arts and crafts, food (try the possum stew and

possum ice cream) and a Possum Auction. The annual

Possum King and Queen Contest is held the evening

prior to the Festival and this is something that you have to

experience to believe.

Wausau is in Washington County, Florida, United States,

about 9 miles south of Chipley and Interstate 10. Wausau

has a total area of 1.1 square miles, all of it land, and

there are approximately 170 households, and 110 families

residing in the town. This equates to a population density of

around 352 people per square mile with a racial makeup of

94.47% Caucasian, .50% African American, 0.75% Native

American, 0.25% Asian, 0.50% from other races, and

3.52% from two or more aces. Hispanics or Latinos make

up 2.51% of the population.

The population consists of 26.9% under the age of 18, 8.3%

from 18 to 24, 24.1% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64,

and 16.6% 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37

years and for every 100 females there are 94.1 males. For

every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89 males.

The median income for a household in the town is $21,000,

and the median income for a family was $23,000.

The per capita income for the town is $10,722 and about

25% of families and 29.2% of the population were below

the poverty line, including 35.2% of those under age 18 and

19.7% of those aged 65 or over. Wausau has an elevation

of 85 feet above sea level.

All these (very dry) statistics aside, however, the reality is

that Wausau, Florida, along with the rest of Washington

County, offers what we like to call ‘The Real Florida’- a

pristine, unspoiled slice of a very relaxed lifestyle and a

quality of life sometimes all too hard to find. So enjoy your

time here as our guest during the Possum Festival, but

make plans to visit us again soon. You will find that there is

a quality of life, accompanied by a laissez-faire attitude that

is appealing and a refreshing change from urban or highpressure

areas. You’ll find that this area is a great place to

raise a family, relocate a business or to retire.

For more information about Wausau, Florida and to view

more photos, video clips, and interviews, visit us on

Facebook at Real Florida Magazine, or listen to interviews

on FPTC radio, the voice of Florida Panhandle Technical

College at www.FPTCRadio.com.

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A Unique Feature of a Unique Festival

One feature of the Wausau Possum Festival that

truly remains ‘one of a kind’ is the annual ‘King and

Queen Contest’ held on the Friday evening prior

to the festival. Competition is fierce as characters

come from all over the region to compete for the

trophies, bragging rights and cash prizes awarded

to ‘Possum King’ and ‘Possum Queen’. See more

photos along with video clips and interviews at

www.WausauPossumFestival.com.

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