Valdosta Daily Times


January 19, 2014

Visiting North Florida’s home of civil war battles and music festivals

LAKE CITY, Fla. — Discussing their events, Harvey Campbell and Teena Peavey seem worlds apart until you realize they are closely linked.

As the executive director of the Columbia County, Fla., Tourist Development Council, Campbell focuses on the coming Olustee Battle Festival & Annual Reenactment, preparing for next month’s 150th anniversary of the closest Civil War battle to Valdosta.

As the marketing director for the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park & Campground, Peavey highlights the park’s coming music festivals ranging from next month’s Aura Music & Arts Festival to the Suwannee Springfest and Magnolia roots music festivals to the country music Suwannee River Jam to the Allman Brothers-sponsored Wanee Festival to the weekly weekend shows.

Yet, the more they discuss their events, the more the similarities become apparent. People opting between camping for their respective events, or taking advantage of shuttle services while staying at nearby hotels or motels. The participation in something American whether it’s country music or watching a battle reenactment, whether it’s watching the people wearing concert garb or the blue and the grey, or listening to a Lincoln or Lee impersonator, or seeing the real thing with the Allmans or country’s Brantley Gilbert.

Yet, the most common theme is location.

All of these events are a relatively short distance from Valdosta and South Georgia, as simple as driving across state line about half an hour or so down into Florida.

And many of the folks traveling to our Florida neighbors are coming from even greater distances.

The Olustee Battle Festival annually draws an average of 60,000 people to North Florida. Based on increased numbers experienced by the 150th anniversary at other Civil War battlefields, Campbell estimates Olustee’s sesquicentennial will draw an increase of approximately 50 percent more than past reenactments. This year, organizers expect nearly 100,000 visitors for the three-day festival and battle reenactments.

People also travel great distances to attend the Spirit of the Suwannee’s music festivals. The Wanee Festival, which is scheduled to announce its line-up this week, has become the music park’s largest draw. Peavey says the Wanee Festival regularly draws attendance from all 50 states and seven countries. This April marks the 10th Wanee Music Festival.

With the Olustee Festival and the Aura Festival coming next month, The Times takes a quick look today at our neighbors to the south.

Text Only
  • bicycle safety.jpg SGMC, Kohl’s to host Bike Smart safety event

    SGMC, Kohl’s Department Store, Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department and Safe Kids Lowndes County will host Bike Smart!

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140410-AR-Wake_Compound001.jpg Bringing wakeboards to Lowndes

    In college, many dream of their future career paths and, while some may seem far fetched, some people are able to make theirs a reality. Luke Tilt and Quinn Silvernale were able to do just that.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140401-Ballet003.jpg Beautiful Dancers

    The Ballet School in Valdosta offers children with special needs the chance to live out their dreams of being a dancer. For many, this may have seemed like a far fetched dream given their physical limitations, but as the Ballet School proves, there is no such thing as a physical limitation.

    April 13, 2014 5 Photos

  • Dido and Aeneas 1.jpg VSU Opera, Chamber Singers Present ‘Dido and Aeneas’ April 19-20

    The Valdosta State University Department of Music will present “Dido and Aeneas” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 19, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 20, in the West Hall Rotunda. Seating is limited to 100 people per performance.

    April 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Film Review Captain A_Rich copy.jpg A salute to ‘Captain America’

    Our reviewer looks at "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," 'The Grand Budapest hotel' and "Bad Words."

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • easter eggs.jpg VLPRA hosts ‘Egg-ceptional Egg Hunt’ Saturday

    Easter egg hunts are an old tradition, but this Saturday, the Therapeutic Division of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority is putting a new spin on it.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • wanee1.jpg Wanee Festival 2014

    For a decade, the Allman Brothers have made it an annual tradition to settle along the Suwannee River and jam with some friends and fellow musicians. And music fans from near and far can come watch, listen and dance.

    April 6, 2014 3 Photos

  • vhsart5.jpg MUST RUN All winners in the VHS art show

    Judging the Valdosta High School art show is no easy feat.

    April 6, 2014 5 Photos

  • Film Review Noah_Rich copy.jpg ‘Noah’ fails to stay afloat

    Our reviewer looks at the movies "Noah" and "Sabotage."

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • flag.jpg Stand Up America Rally this weekend

    It’s not a political rally, but rather a gathering this weekend to “stand up and say we want America back.”

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

Top News

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results