Spring Has Sprung So It’s Time For Festival Fun

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!

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10 responses to “Spring Has Sprung So It’s Time For Festival Fun

  1. As a FAMU Rattler I’m not sure about any Rattlesnake roundups. Rattlesnakes should be free to slither through the forrest hunting and making baby rattlesnakes.

    Anyway, you can’t go wrong with $3 BBQ. Art in Marianna? Isn’t that like justice in Wakulla County?

    Enjoy your crabs next week. It’ll be cool to read about the festival.

  2. Rofl at eehard’s response–“justice in Wakulla County”. I would invite myself to go, but I’m not that crazy about crab, except for crab cakes. I did learn to eat soft shell crabs in New Orleans which is pretty amazing, since it’s kind of like eating a fried spider.

  3. Nick…those are *Georgia* rattlesnakes they’re rounding up, not Florida ones.. 😉

    FN…unfortunately, we’ll only be there a few hours but that may be all we need. We have a graduation party to attend in Shell Point at 2 PM. But if you or Nick want to meet us there….

    Uh…have you eaten fried spider FN?

  4. The seafood festival sounds especially appealing. But I enjoy festivals of any kind. Around here, we have the Renaissance Festival in September and October and the Minnesota State Fair. You can’t miss the state fair. It’s the only place to get good cheese curds!

    • Terri,

      There’s a Renaissance Fair in Gainesville, which is about 2 1/2 hours form here, so it’s just outside my range. I attended that and a co-worker is part of some sort of Renaissance “kingdom” and periodically he spends a weekend somewhere where they meet other “kingdoms” and have “events”, including a big battle that is not “staged”. Kinda like “capture the flag.”

      I’ll eat a few crabs in your honor Saturday! 😉

  5. As a graduate of FSU and having worked at the Utah Shakespearean Festival (USF) I found this blog entertaining…just wanted to let you know that while you didn’t see anything you wanted to attend, there is a free greenshow that happens on the lawn outside the Adams Memorial Theatre (the Globe replica). If I remember correctly, it happens at 7pm each day (except Sunday). Hopefully you will get to attend.

  6. I have not eaten fried spiders, fried soft-shell crab is as close as I ever got. When you can eat the legs of a soft-shelled crab you’ve taken a big step in that direction though.
    And territerri, cheese curds! I would be addicted to them if I could find them…we have stuff in the South you can’t get there, and vice versa. You never find cheese curds. I would kill for some fresh cheese curds (even a day old, according to the experts, is too late).

  7. Anarchist here’s one you missed. The only thing better than $3 bar b q is free fried fish (mullet of course) And its pretty entertaing too, but it is quite a crowd.

    http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/10827406.html

    • PT…I actually heard about that but….I was concerned that the ‘free” part would draw such a crowd that I didn’t want to have to put up with a crowd like that!

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