Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

October 3, 2013

Homecoming, Honeybee: 30 years and counting

VALDOSTA — This weekend, South Georgia celebrates two traditions started in the early 1980s: The Hahira Honeybee Festival and the homecoming football game of the Valdosta State University Blazers.

Hahira forged its Honeybee Festival in an era when many small-town festivals started to die.

Culturally, the early 1980s will be better remembered as the beginning of MTV, the rise of video games, cable television, the ability for a family to rent a movie to play in their homes, and any number of entertainments that could easily distract folks from attending an old-fashioned parade or festival.

But not in Hahira.

Hahira started a festival in the midst of all of these technological entertainments. Yet, Hahira’s Honeybee Festival has not only survived, it has thrived.

While there are many activities, the Honeybee Festival has one of the best old-fashioned parades in the region. Come Saturday, thousands of people will line the streets of Hahira to watch the parade.

It was also the early 1980s when Valdosta State began its football program.

In 1981, then-VSU President Hugh Bailey instituted the start of a Valdosta State football team.

Though South Georgia loves football, attracting fans for Valdosta State hasn’t been easy. The Blazers have had to compete with long-standing traditions and deeply committed fans of Valdosta High Wildcats and the Lowndes High Vikings. As for college ball, many South Georgians had already sworn allegiance to the Georgia Bulldogs, Florida State University or other university teams.

Yet, the Blazers continue growing. The team has dominated Division II and won national championships. With 30-plus years of football history, the Blazers are developing lifelong, diehard fans.

This weekend’s homecoming will be a good time for long-time fans to return for another Blazers game and the perfect opportunity for a newcomer to discover the Blazer football tradition.

With more than 30 years behind both the Honeybee Festival and VSU football, we hope both traditions continue for 30 more years and beyond.

1
Text Only
What We Think
  • The Times belongs to you

    The Valdosta Daily Times belongs to you. As we move forward with new leadership in our newsroom, we want you to know about our continued commitment to the communities we serve.

    July 28, 2014

  • The art of plenty to do

    In Sunday’s paper, readers found an extensive list of shows, exhibits, concerts and more for the upcoming arts seasons in Valdosta-Lowndes County.

    July 27, 2014

  • The power of One

    Christine Batson wondered the same thing that many people wonder.

    July 26, 2014

  • Thumbs Up

    THUMBS UP: To Air Force Lt. Col. David Rayman. The 75th Fighter Squadron commander recently logged 3,000 flight hours in the A-10C Thunderbolt II. A rare feat. In presenting a Moody Air Force Base story on his accomplishment in The Times, it’s good to see the face and know the name of one of the many pilots who cross our South Georgia skies. Congratulations on 3,000 and thank you for your service.

    July 26, 2014

  • Closing another summer chapter

    The South Georgia Regional Library brings its 2014 summer reading program to a close this weekend with an event that celebrates readers and writers.

    July 24, 2014

  • Countdown for voter apathy

    If you don’t think your vote counts, talk to Ellis Black and John Page today.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vote to remove signs

    Congratulations to the winners in the primary runoff election Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Runoff election counts today

    Today is an election day that started just a little more than two months ago.

    July 21, 2014

  • PSST! Only one week left

    Peach State Summer Theatre enters its final week of performances for the 2014 season. This means there are only a few more opportunities left to see “Mary Poppins,” “Smokey Joe’s Cafe,” and “42nd Street.”

    July 20, 2014

  • The wisdom of animals

    Animals may be smarter than us. If you don’t think so take a look at how we humans deal with the oppressive heat of summer. Compare our activities with those of animals.

    July 19, 2014

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results