In rural Wassau in the southern US state of Florida, the Wausau Possum Festival has become an annual summertime folk festival over the past forty years. This event is said to celebrate the role of the opossum in the survival of the populace of Northwest Florida during the depression. Aside from the music, a key feature is the fundraising possum auction for the local Wausau Development Club, which involves holding opossums by their tail. Possum is served up as a main fare.
The Virginia oppossum (Didelphis virginiana Kerr) is the only marsupial native to the south eastern region of North America and extending through Central America.
American Republican politician Katherine Harris of Florida is shown here in August 2006 during her campaigning for the 2006 Florida United States Senate election, holding a possum by the tail and is said to have bid $400 at the so-called 'possum auction'.
According to the festival's sick tradition, every election year, national and statewide candidates in Florida must prove they are good country folk by mistreating a possum at the Wausau Possum Festival. "Candidates bid for a possum, taking it out of a holding area by its tail and giving it a shake to terrify the creature into going limp so it won't claw them. They're later fed and released into the wild.
As one commenter rightly suggested:
"Someone should pick her up by her nether regions and shake her until she goes limp. Then take her back to the woods."