One of the sure signs that Spring has sprung is the plethora of festivals that go on within a two hour drive of here. Seems like every weekend, there’s at least one festival enticing us to spend the day…and our money.
Let’s see…on March 28, just six days after Spring officially began, my own hometown had its annual Springtime Tallahassee festival. Susie and I used to attend this event every year but stopped a few years ago after it became the “same old same old” and the arts and crafts quality went down. One year, we bought a beautful sea turtle that had been etched (by sandblasting) into a 20-inch piece of glass with a “jagged” top. We’ve not seen anything of that quality for years.
Instead, I’m looking forward to the Asian Festival the first weekend in October. We attended last year and enjoyed it. I learned that our Mayor’s wife is half-Filipina and she chatted with us when she saw my “Manila Hotel” T-shirt.
Last weekend, we checked out the Marianna Arts Festival and Barbeque Cookoff. We weren’t impressed with the arts portion but the barbeque sure was fine. This was a sanctioned barbeque competition by the Southern BBQ association poohbahs. For $3, we got to sample 10 different barbeques and vote in the “People’s Choice” award portion of the competition. It was a lot of barbeque for $3!
Yesterday was the Thomasville (Georgia) Rose Show and Festival. We’ve never been to this one. Maybe because I’m not excited about roses. Competing with this festival was the Carrabelle Riverfront Festival. We’ve not been to that one either. I decided getting a haircut was more important than a festival.
Next Saturday is the Panacea Blue Crab Festival. We’ll attend it now that my hair is looking presentable. 😉 This is a fairly big festival and is in the next county. If crabs aren’t a motivator, an alternative is the Quincy Blues and Barbeque Fest, in another neighboring county.
In about a month is the 57th Florida Folk Festival. This is another massive festival that I’ve been too intimidated to attend since I don’t like tsunami-sized crowds. Maybe this year…
Festivals continue into the fall and even winter. Animals are a favorite festival focus around here. Susie’s hometown of Blountstown has a Goat Day in the fall. We went once. Just once…
Calvary (Georgia) celebrates Mule Day in the fall. The organizers claim 50,000 and up attend it. I think there needs to be a recount!
Definitely “big” is Whigham’s (Georgia) Rattlesnake Roundup in the early winter, when those snakes are lethargic. The organizers claim 40,000 attend and I believe it. I enjoy Rattlesnake Roundup but attend only if the weather will be mild. Lots of booths, including rattlesnake products, and lots of food. Huge traffic jams.
I think it’s going to become a tradition to attend the St. Andrews Mardi Gras parade in Panama City. We attended last year and this year and very much enjoyed it.
Food is another festival focus. In June, a neighboring county celebrates a main crop with the Watermelon Festival. It’s a chance to pick up a melon and maybe play some poker at the only poker room around here. I know prices on everything are going up, but the idea of paying more than about $2 for a watermelon is just…unconscionable! I remember buying them off a truck for $1.
Did you know that Dothan (Alabama) claims that half the peanuts in the country are grown within 100 miles of it? Which is why it sponsors the weeklong National Peanut Festival. This year it begins October 30. We’ll probably attend this one – you know there’s going to be some fine boiled peanuts there!
Apalachicola celebrates the Florida Seafood Festival in November and this year will the 4o-somethingeth one. This is so huge I don’t attend it any more. Too many folks and overpriced. Better to slip into town on a “normal” weekend when the pace is much more relaxed.
One festival I think I’ll pass up is the Gnat Days Festival in Camilla (Georgia). Don’t believe me? Google it and see for yourself!
And while there are a lot of festivals around here, I’m not sure there’s much competition to Cedar City, Utah, which bills itself as Festival City USA. Check out this schedule of festivals! All that in one city…
As it turns out, we”ll be in Cedar City for a day in July as we wind down a week revisiting favorite (and some new) parks in southern Utah before some R & R in Vegas for another week. There’s a Shakespeare festival going on but we didn’t see anything we wanted to attend.
I’m looking forward to those crabs next weekend!