What started off as a small, local festival 18 years ago has become a major regional festival attracting attendees from all over the southeastern United States.
The two-day festival runs the weekend of March 10 and 11 and begins with a 5K Road Race and One Mile Fun Run on Saturday, March 10. It is held in Drexel Park, one of the most beautiful parks in Valdosta.
Drexel Park was named for Richard J. Drexel, a landscape architect who served from 1925 to 1959 as the city’s first Superintendent of Parks. He is largely responsible for Valdosta becoming the “Azalea City.” The title of Azalea City was not officially proposed until 1947 by the garden clubs of Valdosta.
During the festival, the 11-acre park will be filled with 200 craft vendors and six stage areas of entertainment — one provided by Wild Adventures Theme Park. There is also an all-day arts and crafts show both days, some great music and bands, a HUGE KidZone with a waterball ride, the World Famous Disc-Connected K-9’s, inflatable attractions, a children’s train ride, pony rides, a rock wall, water boat ride, the “Falconry Forever” (Birds of Prey) exhibit and demonstrations, a pet contest sponsored by BARC, AND MORE!
Other areas of the park will feature the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack show, back by popular demand, sponsored by the Langdale Company, a classic car show Sunday, a mechanical bull ride, a roaming juggler, and a euro-bungee ride.
The Azalea Festival weekend corresponds with the opening weekend of Wild Adventures Theme Park. It will be a great time to celebrate all that South Georgia has to offer while we usher in spring in style.
The Azalea Festival is held at Drexel Park, 1401 N. Patterson St., across from Valdosta State University at the corner of Brookwood Drive and Patterson Street. The festival opens 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 10, 11. Admission to the park is free.