Valdosta's Azalea Festival is fun, but also economically importa -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta's Azalea Festival is fun, but also economically important

Aaron Strickland Aaron Strickland

The coordinator of the Azalea Festival in Valdosta was reminding people Friday why a big turnout was so important for the city's economy, as the festival was scheduled to kick off on Saturday.

This is the city's biggest festival all year and one of the biggest in South Georgia. It has grown every year and this year 20-30,000 people were expected to come out for the festival.

Coordinator Aaron Strickland said a big turn out this weekend would boost the economy now and help the festival have an even bigger economic impact in the future. "All these people don't eat at the festival every meal of the day. They don't sleep out here in their tents. They're getting hotel rooms. They're eating in restaurants. They're shopping. They're buying supplies," Strickland pointed out.

Friday afternoon, Jennifer Marquis, with Lighthouse Christian School and Church in Lowndes County, was setting up her tent and said she was looking forward to the festival.

"This is just a great way to meet new people and make good connections and hopefully make a difference in the community," Marquis said.

Alan Davis, with 4th Day Homemade Ice Cream, was also setting up his tent Friday afternoon. He said he was looking forward to getting to see all of the different generations of people that come out to the festival.

"To come here is to come see the people that you haven't seen in a long time," Davis pointed out. "You get to see them, you get to see their kids, you get to see their grand kids. and, you get to see little kids come here and enjoy this festival and grow up, somewhat, like we did."

The festival has been held since 2000. It takes place in Drexel Park and runs through Sunday, rain or shine.

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