Tony’s Chowder a hit at Yankeetown festival

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 By Cathy Kapulka


Special to the Citizen

 YANKEETOWN — Yankeetown combined its 30th Annual Yankeetown Arts, Crafts & Seafood Festival with its “Elvis Presley Month” celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of the filming of the Elvis movie Follow That Dream. Parts of the movie were filmed in Yankeetown in 1961. 

The Withlacoochee Gulf Area Chamber of Commerce organized the three-day event, which included a showing of the movie at the Yankeetown Women’s Club, the dedication of the Follow That Dream Parkway and the seafood festival complete with an Elvis entertainer.

“This is the highest turnout in a couple of years,” Celeste Widman, administrative assistant for the chamber, said. “Yesterday was an awesome day and today’s great, look at all the people.”

The Inglis Yankeetown Florida Lions Club sponsored the Arts, Crafts & Seafood Festival.

Sondra Dame, treasurer for the club, said that nearly $8,000 was raised, which benefits Lions’ charities supporting activities related to sight, hearing, diabetes and other community needs.

Clyde Box has been a Yankeetown Florida Lions Club member since 1975. He was president of the club when the club sponsored the first festival 30 years ago.

“I think this is one of the greatest we’ve had,” he said. “The excellent weather didn’t hurt, and I think the 50th-year anniversary of Elvis’ Follow That Dream helped us. A lot of people came out to see the Elvis performers.”

Box said that the festival seems to run a lot smoother than it did in the past.

 He said the festival grown and has more room on the street because the present government has allowed it.

“The younger people putting this thing on right now did a better job than we did,” he added.

Terri Jockers, concession manager at Tony’s Cedar Key Clam Chowder’s food trailer, said the first time the chowder was sold at a festival was at the Yankeetown Seafood festival four years ago.

Since then, the chowder was the three-time winner of the Great Chowder Cook Off in Newport, R.I., and is now in the cook off’s Chowder Hall of Fame.

At about 2 p.m. Sunday, Jocker’s supply of clam chowder was getting low.

“I’ll sell it until I don’t have any more, and I’m about to run out,” She said.


 “I’ve got my sold-out signs ready. I love it and I hate it (selling out). I really hate to disappoint anybody.”

The chowder sold out before 3 p.m. Sunday.