Okeechobee is the county seat of Okeechobee County, the immediate area surrounding Lake Okeechobee.
The name derives from the Hitchiti Indian words "oki" for water and "chobi" for big.
About 5,918 people live in Okeechobee according to the 2020 census.
Some old time Floridians also refer to the town as "Okeechobee City".
It is located a couple of miles north of Lake Okeechobee at the intersections of State Road 70, US-441, US-98 and County Road 710.
In 1926 Okeechobee became the seat of government in Okeechobee County and the county courthouse was built. City Hall was built in the same year.
In it's early years the town was the center of the cattle industry in south Central Florida, and was also the cornerstone of Florida's freshwater fishing industry, especially catfish and perch.
The city of Okeechobee and other towns around Lake Okeechobee were devastated by the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane.
This hurricane was the first recorded Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic, and is still one of the deadliest hurricanes ever to strike the United States.
An estimated 2,500 people were killed by the flooding that followed this hurricane.
Not long after the hurricane, the low areas around the lake were enclosed within a new dike, named the Herbert Hoover Dike after the President of the United States at that time.
Fishing and cattle raising are still important to Okeechobee today, as well as tourism.
People come from all over the world to enjoy fishing in Lake Okeechobee.
The downtown area of Okeechobee is a wide grassy boulevard with some military monuments and artifacts and shady places to sit and enjoy the view.
There are plenty of shops and restaurants in town, and a couple of very nice murals and historic buildings.
Fishing is a main industry in the town, with catfish, bass and speckled perch being the main catches. It is also an agricultural center for Okeechobee Country.
The Speckled Perch Festival is held annually in March in honor of the famous Lake Okeechobee fish.
The first festival was in 1965, and there is one also scheduled for 2022.
Other towns around Lake Okeechobee include Buckhead Ridge, Lakeport, Taylor Creek, Port Mayaca, Canal Point, Pahokee, South Bay, Belle Glade, Clewiston, Moore Haven and a few smaller places.
The eastern, southern and northern shores of Lake Okeechobee are home to many RV parks and fish camps where serious fishermen spend their days casting a line into the big waters.