"This goes on every freakin' year," said one fair participant from behind a blue and white bandana pulled across his face. "If this wasn't such an important piece of the fabric of this town, I'd skip it altogether and just sell my weed out of my van like I did in the old days."
Harvest Festival organizer, Doobie Brothers, agrees. "This event brings our community together," said Mr. Brothers. "We have growers from all four corners of the city come to City Hall to sell their wares. Its a great tourist attraction, gives North Port name recognition and is a big money maker for us. We don't really need the DEA walking around taking down people's license plate numbers, hassling our guests."
"This is a wholesome, family event. We have brownie-munching contests, joint rolling competition and the main event, judging individual plants for the coveted "Best In Show" award."
"We do this for the kids. They need something to keep them off the streets, something to occupy their time, something to strive for, something they can take pride in. Not too many schools have 4-H clubs anymore; North Port High School has a waiting list to join."
The grow houses of North Port are said to supply most of the Suncoast's drug dealers demand for quality marijuana. Some is shipped to various localities within the state, but the majority of the crop is used and enjoyed right here in Sarasota and Charlotte counties.
"We take pride in the quality of our weed," said the still unidentified grower. "And we take pride in the fact that we can bring joy to so many people in our hometown. Plus, we make a ton of money to add to the economy. Really, would rather invest in some risky financial scheme right now or finance a proven merchandise, with kids lining up to spend their parents' last unemployment check to buy your product?"
OCT. 24, 2009