Valdosta Daily Times


March 2, 2014

Azalea Festival blooms this weekend

VALDOSTA — The annual Azalea Festival is Saturday and Sunday at Drexel Park, in all it’s annual splendor. They seem to time it just right each year with the azalea’s blooming, and the park always looks incredibly beautiful for the festival.

There are some great events throughout the weekend, from the 5K Road Race starting at VSU’s Rec Center Saturday morning to the annual Humane Society Pet Contest Saturday afternoon.

Live entertainment throughout the weekend, a Classic Car and Bike Show on Sunday afternoon, a Kidzone with attractions and rides all weekend, plus lots and lots of arts and crafts vendors. And you can’t miss the wonderful international food vending area either, which also features crowd favorites and various foods on a stick — adventure eating.

One year, I tried a fried Snickers bar at the festival. Wow. Not something I think I could ever eat again, but I had to try it just to say I did.

It was a big, highly sweet, gooey mess. Good, but way too sweet even for me.

Kids always love the event, with lots to do and see, families love the event for the same reason, and you can always bet that you’ll find something new, different, and that you hadn’t seen, or done, or heard, or knew existed.

For me, the Azalea Festival was my first time for the fried Snickers, but also the first time hearing the ukulele orchestra, shooting a paint ball gun, seeing the grey painted lady that stands still like a statue, and much more. Good memories, good fun, and always a great community and family event.

Business Roundup

I’ve been asked what is going in where the auto’s and the health food store was on Baytree by the State Farm office in Remerton. The mystery is over — it’s going to be a new location for Daylight Donuts. I understand it’s also going to be an Internet cafe, and should be a great place for students and the community to hang out.

Baytree Pizza is moving to the former location of Ruby Tuesday’s at the Valdosta Mall, and yes, they are still going to keep their name. They will begin moving in about two weeks and reopen in the new location by mid-April.

Also coming to the mall soon is a new store, ULTA, which is a cosmetics store offering a wide variety of makeup brands.

Sam’s Club on Norman is holding a re-grand opening on April 3 at 8 a.m. so make plans to attend. They are finished with the enormous addition and they will be officially opening that day.

I keep hearing that Gondolier’s, the new Italian restaurant on Norman Drive still under construction, is opening in April. Several people from here have eaten at the one in Lake City, Fla. owned by the same owners and have reported rave reviews.

The new Aspen Dental Clinic on Norman is still under construction as well, with an April opening planned.

The folks at McDonalds here in Valdosta will be donating the proceeds from all hot coffee drinks to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tallahassee on Wednesday, March 5, so make sure you go  by if you want a coffee that day to help raise money for the worthy cause.

As I am sure you’ve read this week in the paper, the Ashley Cinemas, or commonly known as the Dollar Theatre, is closing. They cost to convert to the newest technology would keep them from being able to offer movies so cheaply, and today is their last day.

There is a concrete slab in the parking lot beside the theatre that I believe is going to be a softball facility for VSU, which purchased that whole property a couple of years ago.

I keep being asked about Golden Corral, and considering that the news that they are coming to Valdosta is now about two years old, I wouldn’t get my hopes up folks. The city says they have no plans filed yet for the eatery, so if they do come, it won’t be soon.

That’s about it for this week, but if there’s something I missed, please let me know!

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