Valdosta Daily Times

September 30, 2012

Why we love the Honeybee Festival


The Valdosta Daily Times

-- — Hard to believe that Hahira started its annual Hahira Honeybee Festival in the early 1980s. The Americana tradition of the festival’s parade, arts & crafts show and more hark back to an earlier period in American history.

But Hahira forged this tradition in an era when many small-town festivals started to die. The Hahira Honeybee Festival started in an age when new entertainments were taking root across the nation and in South Georgia.

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 which have only grown more elaborate and more popular in the past few decades. Yet, Hahira’s Honeybee Festival has not only survived. It has thrived.

Tens of thousands of people regularly attend the annual parade which is scheduled to return Saturday, Oct. 6, to Downtown Hahira. They leave behind their cable TV, Internet, video games, central air-conditioning, DVDs, and CDs to come to the Hahira Honeybee Festival.

Or, at least, they bring many of those things with them in their smart phones, but they come to the festival anyway.

They come to celebrate a town and their neighbors and a hopefully golden Saturday afternoon with a bit of cool in the air as a parade passes by.

They will do so this weekend again for the 31st Annual Hahira Honeybee Festival, and if Hahira remains true to the festival’s roots, people will likely still attend in another 31 years or even to the year 3131 despite the technological advances of other entertainment.