Travelers will likely find vendors establishing sites today for the 42nd Annual Flatlanders Fall Frolic this weekend.
As they have since 1971, Lakeland and Lanier County will celebrate the Labor Day weekend with the Frolic, an event filled with food, fellowship, and a thriving arts and crafts show.
For the past 39 years, the Frolic has included an arts and crafts show, said Helen Strickland, a long-time Frolic organizer. Traveling from throughout Georgia and other states, vendors present “handcrafts, artwork, plants, handbags, children’s clothing, antiques, jewelry, toys, collectible glass and pottery, woodcrafts, leather crafts, and much more.” Various types of food and drinks will also be available.
Sponsored by the Lakeland-Lanier County Chamber of Commerce, the arts and crafts show runs 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, 2. Show admission is $3,
adults; $2, youths (ages 12-16); $1, children (ages 6-11); free, children 5 and under; $2, senior citizens, active military personnel. The arts and crafts show will be held in the “grassy plain” outside of the Threatte Center, located at the Lakeland city limits, along the Valdosta-Lakeland Highway.
Sponsored by Lanier County’s Family Connection, the annual Dawg-Gone Good Race kicks off the two-day festival. Registration opens at 7 a.m. Saturday, with the one-mile fun run starting at 7:30 a.m., and the 5K race beginning at 8 a.m., at Church Street beside of Lakeland’s First Baptist Church. Discounted, pre-registration continues through today, Farmers & Merchants Bank of Lakeland and the Lakeland-Lanier County Chamber of Commerce.
The festival will conclude with the annual Frolic Gospel Sing, 7 p.m. Sunday, Threatte Center Auditorium. Featured performers are The Georgians, a Valdosta-based gospel group, and The Diamonds of Dixie. Advanced tickets are available at the bank or chamber. Tickets will also be available at the door. Gospel sing tickets: $8.
There are plenty of other events and features between the race and the gospel sing.
The Lanier County Lions Club started the Flatlanders Fall Frolic in 1971 as a Labor Day fundraiser.
Since, it has become a Labor Day tradition, though it has undergone many transformations through the years. It was initially a one-day event downtown that, for many years, grew into a three-day then two-day event at Camp Patten. Then, the Frolic again became a one-day event in Downtown Lakeland, with the Lakeland-Lanier County Chamber of Commerce sponsoring the arts and crafts show.
Now, it is a two-day event, regularly held at the Threatte Center.
At one time, the Frolic scheduled big-name country acts, including the legendary booking of Hank Williams Jr., who canceled due to his near-death experience falling off a mountain. Booking big country acts ended with the coming of Wild Adventures’ regular schedule of concerts.
But the Frolic was never really about big-name entertainment. It’s about community and that tradition continues Saturday and Sunday.
42nd Annual Flatlanders Fall Frolic
When: Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 1, 2.
Where: Threatte Center, Lakeland.