Thanks to all involved in this season’s Raisin’ Cane Tours

Residents hit the road in their U.S. Sugar hats to learn more about the sugar industry and the Clewiston community during the Raisin’ Cane Tours. At top, residents of the Pines of Delray East hold up pieces of fresh sugar cane they received during a tour.

U.S. Sugar would like to thank the Clewiston Chamber of Commerce and the many local businesses and community leaders who helped make this season’s Raisin’ Cane Tours a sweet success.

About 6,100 people from the Glades communities and South Florida’s east and west coasts took part in more than 150 Raisin’ Cane Tours held between October and April. Groups came from all walks to life but had one thing in common: to learn more about Clewiston and the sugarcane industry that supports it.

The annual tours provide a behind-the-scenes view of how sugar and oranges are grown, harvested, processed and sent to local grocery stores. Participants visit sugarcane fields, tour U.S. Sugar and Southern Gardens Citrus facilities, and see Lake Okeechobee up close. Every tour culminates with lunch at a local restaurant, and tour-goers leave with a sample of Florida’s sweetest crop and a bottle of Florida’s Natural orange juice.

Here are a few comments from people who went on a tour: “Educating one person at a time. That’s a beautiful thing!’’ “Loved it.’’ “Thank you U.S. Sugar. I was thoroughly impressed when I toured your operations.’’

Joyce Whitworth, Sandy Snow, Carolyn Hughes, Joyce LeBlanc and Judy Eames, from left to right, were among several residents of Mariners Cove in Estero who took part in this season’s Raisin’ Cane Tours.

Offering the tours wouldn’t be possible without the help and support of local businesses and partners. With that in mind, we would like to recognize these groups and individuals for their hard work and dedication in making this season’s tours memorable and enjoyable: American Viking Bus Company; Clewiston Chamber of Commerce; Clewiston Country Club; Clewiston Golf Course; Clewiston Museum; Florida Sugarcane League; Main Street Subs; Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort; Sonny’s BBQ in Clewiston; Southern Gardens Citrus; Ralph Barnes and Hunter Latham; and East and West Coast Outreach Teams.

We also would like to give a special thanks to the many local leaders and business professionals who hosted the tours and spoke to the groups about the community and what makes it special.

The tours ended with the close of the harvest season but will resume in the fall. To find out more, please call the Clewiston Chamber of Commerce at (863) 983-7979.

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