I spent many summers in Florida as a kid, but always at the beach. Kissimmee, in central Florida, was never part of the itinerary. It’s known as a family-and-budget friendly gateway to Disney World, but my family only went to that magical kingdom once, when I was three, and the only memory I have of the trip is a very dizzy one from the inside of a tea cup. All of this is to say, Kissimme and I are just getting to know each other.
The lovely people of the Kissimmee Convention and Visitors Bureau flew me down to show off their sports facilities. I arrived yesterday, and after a tour of Osceola County, I had dinner with some of the aforementioned lovely people, who shared a few interesting facts:
- The largest working ranch in the United States is located in Osceola.
- The rodeo is such a big deal here that schools don’t close for President’s Day, but the Friday before President’s Day instead. Rodeo Day.
- Disney designed an entire community here called Celebration, that, from November to Jan. 1 is covered with snow. Made out of soap. (I know I sound like I’m mocking, but it’s actually quite a lovely place. We had dinner here. I ate crab stuffed shrimp. I’m unlikely to complain.)
- Florida controls its alligator population through an “alligator harvest program.” It’s just alligator hunting, but the word harvest just strikes me as creepy.
Anyway, for those of you who, like me, didn’t have a clue about Kissimmee, here’s a quick look.