Azalea Festival continues Sunday

Amanda M. Usher, The Valdosta Daily Times, Ga.
·2 min read

Mar. 14—VALDOSTA — Thousands gathered Saturday for a Lowndes County tradition — the 21st Annual Azalea Festival in Drexel Park.

The 2020 event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic but the festival returned in true form this year, bringing together food vendors and other assorted vendors, live music and children's activities.

The two-day festival continues Sunday with a classic car and bike show and many other attractions that opened Saturday.

Kona Ice, first-responders, craftsmen, the Humane Society of Valdosta, ATA — Performance Martial Arts Academy, staff with the City of Valdosta, Raphael of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and others were present.

Roasted corn on the cob, funnel cakes and Icees were some of the food items offered at the festival. Some walked around and ate while others found a shaded spot to eat.

Sierra Dickinson attended the festival with Gabriel Ellwood and their golden retriever, Chief. The pair has regularly attended the festival the past few years.

"It's definitely more crowded than I thought it would be, but at this point, we've been in it (the pandemic) long enough that we're not going to let it keep us from going out and doing things," Dickinson said. "We do try to stay away from packed areas. We try to stay in the outskirts and walk around, but other than that, we're just kind of taking it as we go."

Ellwood said they have been working in the restaurant industry throughout the pandemic, being exposed to people in large groups and people not wearing masks.

"It's kind of just normal for us at this point," Ellwood said. "We wear our masks when we're in the restaurant full-time, but at this point, I'm just kind of surprised we haven't gotten it."

Dickinson said she loved the falconry, lumberjack and dog Frisbee shows at the Azalea Festival. She also liked the opportunity to purchase Mother's Day and Father's Day gifts from local vendors.

Ellwood likes to see the unique items offered.