Welcome to the official site of OkraFest, the annual celebration of all things okra. What began as a humble gathering of three couples in 2003 has blossomed into a full-fledged feast of food, good company and music.
OkraFest was founded by Mick Lochridge of Apopka, Fla., with a singular purpose: To demonstrate to longtime friend and Orlando Sentinel co-worker Fran Coker that fried okra was not slimy. Not only was flavorful, crispy fried okra served up that year, Lisa Lochridge also spread the buffet table with okra, corn and tomatoes; boiled okra (ok, that is a little slimy); gumbo; okra fungi (an Island dish); and pickled okra (store-bought). Completing the menu were grilled sausages, coleslaw and cornbread.
With the tradition well-established, OkraFest is held each fall when Mick's garden is spilling over and the harvest is ready. The 2007 fest, held in October, was the biggest and best ever.