Locals and visitors celebrate 52nd annual Wausau Possum Festival

Published: Aug. 7, 2021 at 7:11 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The first Saturday in August might not mean much to some people. But to folks in Wausau, it’s a day they spend celebrating opossums.

Every year, hundreds of people make their way to Wausau in Washington County for the Annual Possum Festival.

“Everyone around here is family. And if you’re not family, we’re going to invite you into the family,” Funday Possum Festival Chairman James Walsingham said.

It’s just like any other festival, with food, music, auctions, and games, but it’s all to honor a special marsupial.

“You know what they say, if you go down the road and you see a possum that got run over the road, he’s always facing to Wausau. And if he’s not, he’s been hit twice,” Walsingham said.

It wouldn’t be the Possum Festival without a Possum King.

“I am royalty. I am the royalty. Like I said earlier, I am JJ Da Possum. I am now the Possum King for the 52nd annual Possum Festival,” 2021 King JJ Da Possum said.

The little fur babies are more than just the star of the show at this event, they’re the stars of Wausau all year round. Wausau is actually the Possum Capital of the world.

“We love our possums here in Wausau. We don’t abuse our possums here in Wausau,” Walsingham said.

The huge event is one of Wausau’s biggest fundraisers.

“Everything that we raised all the donations that we get goes to fund the ball field, the ball team, whatever the community needs. And then every year, we give away two scholarships to the local schools to give kids a chance to go to college no better themselves. That’s what it’s all about,” Wausau Development Club President Steve Taylor said.

Opossums have been bringing folks together, one festival at a time, since the 1970′s.

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