Clewiston City Commissioners present a proclamation declaring March 13-19 as Sugar-cane Farmers Appreciation Week to the Executive Committee of the Clewiston Sugar Festival. Top row, from left: Commissioners Julio Rodriguez, Vice Mayor Michael Atkinson, Mayor Mali Gardner, Kristine Petersen and Phillip Roland. Bottom row, from left: Clewiston Sugar Festival Executive Committee members Belinda Smith, Elaine Wood, Jennifer Black, Clewiston City Manager Al Perry and Ashly Sergent. / Contributed

By Susan Thurston

The city of Clewiston has declared March 13-19 as Sugar-cane Farmers Appreciation Week. The proclamation, which coincides with the Clewiston Sugar Festival on Saturday, March 18, recognizes the contributions the sugar-cane industry makes to the state and to the country.

The proclamation, signed Feb. 20 by Clewiston Mayor Mali Gardner, applauds Florida sugar-cane farmers for generating more than $3 billion a year in economic activity and for their technology and environmental stewardship.

Florida sugar-cane farmers produce about 50 percent of the cane sugar, and 25 percent of all sugar, produced in the United States.

Crop is vital to local economy

“Florida sugar-cane farmers are a great asset to our community and a strong force behind our economy,’’ said Hillary Hyslope, executive director of the Clewiston Chamber of Commerce and a board member of the Clewiston Sugar Festival. “It’s wonderful to see they are getting the sweet recognition they deserve.’’

Members of the Red Hat Society, of Broward County, in a sugar-cane field south of Moore Haven. Bobby Pearce (in blue shirt) of Clewiston conducts the Clewiston Chamber of Commerce’s Sugarland Tours, which provide excellent insight into the sugar and citrus industries in the Glades. / J.D. Vivian

The proclamation was presented to the Executive Committee of the Clewiston Sugar Festival, whose members accepted it on behalf of the festival and sugar-cane farmers.

Clewiston Sugar Festival is March 18

The Clewiston Sugar Festival will be held March 18 at Civic Park on U.S. 27 in Clewiston. This annual free event features performances by country singers Trace Adkins and Tracy Lawrence, who will be joined by other musical guests: Parmalee, Runaway June and JJ McCoy.

The festival also will have a food vendors, arts-and-crafts booths, an antique-car show, tractor displays, and a kids’ park with games and inflatable jump-houses.

Now in its 31st year, Clewiston Sugar Festival celebrates the region’s annual sugar-cane harvest and the importance of the crop to Glades-area communities and to Florida’s agricultural industry.

For more information about the Clewiston Sugar Festival, visit For info about Sugarland Tours, see