VALDOSTA Funnel cakes, fried gator on a stick, arts and crafts, bouncy houses, pony rides, live music and crowded streets hometown festivals.
Yearly festivals and events in many ways identify a community, reflect its character and create a brand. In the SunLight Project coverage area Valdosta, Thomasville, Tifton, Dalton, Moultrie and Milledgeville, Ga., along with Live Oak, Jasper and Mayo, Fla., and the surrounding counties there is no shortage of festivals that celebrate the quirks, specialties, history and heritage of each town, county and region.
That special something could be writhing rattlesnakes, breathtaking flowers or buzzing honey bees. It could be spicy peppers, white clay found in mines, a flavorful peach, folk music or blueberry pies.
It could be an old corn mill or little red wagons. It might be Civil War battles or a downtown square lighting that dates back to the Great Depression.
Whatever a city or county chooses to celebrate, the resulting festivals bring fun and a sense of place to an area. They also boost local economies with significant revenues while offering people a chance to bond over a shared identity.
Although there are hundreds of festivals and events taking place year-round in the region, here are some of ...