The 15th annual Hibiscus Festival was held May 3-5 for the benefit of The Charlotte County Historical Center Society at the City Marketplace in Punta Gorda.

The festival is a tribute to Charlotte County Hibiscus hybridizer Harry R. Goulding, who began gathering Hibiscus throughout Florida in the early 1930s.

Vendors sold Hibiscus, tropical plants, and gifts. Food trucks were available, and music was performed in several locations. Attendees were encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for donation to pantries.

Punta Gorda Mayor Nancy Prafke read a proclamation, declaring May 4 to be Hibiscus Day.

Joe and Shirley Huckeby were crowned King and Queen Hibiscus and were joined on stage by the Hibiscus Committee, as well as friends who reflected on early experiences with “King” Joe.

Huckeby, who is descended from one of Florida’s pioneer families, has a career history that includes cattle ranching, citrus and 20 years with the Charlotte County Sheriffs Office.

For more information visit: thehibiscusfestival.com/.

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