A parade, a circus, fireworks, a run, a street dance, food, crafts, refreshments. Sounds like a celebration!

This Friday and Saturday, Valdosta and Lowndes County will trumpet the city's status as the Azalea City with a festival, open to everyone.

Last year's festival was the inaugural event, but it was just one day, and the weather wasn't tremendously cooperative. But even a little rain wouldn't dampen the enthusiasm of festival organizers this year. They've planned a bigger event with many groups and individuals participating.

We urge everyone in Lowndes County to support this community event.

The festival starts with a parade at 5:30 p.m. Friday followed by a circus and fireworks on the front of the Valdosta State University's campus.

The big day is Saturday, beginning with a bike ride at 8 a.m., 5K run at 9 a.m. and a Volksmarch, which is a non-competitive walk starting at 8:30 a.m. in Drexel Park.

All day events include arts and crafts booths, food and children's activities. A tour between 1 and 4 p.m. of historic homes in the Brookwood North area costs $10 a person.

The day will end with a street dance, featuring the local band Skannyardle. For more details on the festival, readers can find a special section inside today's edition.

If plenty of people patronize the festival, it can become a true community celebration.

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