Valdosta Daily Times

March 5, 2014

Azalea Festival celebrates our region

The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta-Lowndes County Azalea Festival returns Saturday and Sunday. Featuring local entertainment, vendors and numerous activities for participants of all ages, the Azalea Festival has become an expected March treat for the area for more than a decade.

Hard to believe, but it’s true. This will be the 14th Annual Azalea Festival.

In 2000, organizers had an idea of celebrating the community through the blooms of our azaleas. Why not create a festival that celebrates Valdosta-Lowndes County’s community spirit while honoring the region’s abundance of azalea blooms each March? After all, the flower had earned Valdosta the nickname of the Azalea City many years earlier.

In March 2001, the first Azalea Festival was a one-day affair in Drexel Park. It has grown and adapted each year since.

Through the years, thousands of people have made the Azalea Festival possible and shaped what it has become. The participation of thousands of area residents and visitors have made it an annual success.

The festival is named for the region’s azaleas, a plant that blooms for a brief and beautiful period around this time of year. With the lower temperatures this winter, it seems fewer azaleas have bloomed.

Though some have, brightening the region in bursts of pink on numerous azalea bushes.

But even with some blooms delayed, the Azalea Festival celebrates the people and things that make Valdosta-Lowndes County a beautiful place to live throughout the year.