Tifton Wiregrass Freedom Festival draws tourists and locals

Tifton Wiregrass Freedom Festival draws tourists and locals
Published: Jul. 2, 2022 at 6:53 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 3, 2022 at 1:19 PM EDT
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TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - The Wiregrass Freedom Festival, an annual tradition, drew hundreds of locals and tourists Saturday.

The Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) Museum of Agriculture hosts multiple single-day events every year. Saturday’s event was a celebration of America and South Georgia.

“It’s a great way to tie in modern, local history with what we do at the museum,” said Sara Hand, Assistant Director at the ABAC Museum.

Onlookers of the tractor parade at the Wiregrass Freedom Festival
Onlookers of the tractor parade at the Wiregrass Freedom Festival(WALB)

She said it’s important for all South Georgians to learn about their history.

“Being able to show people where their food, fiber and shelter come from, how we raise cattle, how we raise chickens, how we grow crops, how it was done 150 years ago and how it is done today. How we can feed so many more people with a single farmer today,” she said.

It’s not just people from South Georgia who visited. Catherine Wilson, Historical Interpreter at the ABAC Museum of Agriculture said she’s met people from thousands of miles away.

“The most memorable ones are people from Brazil. We had this long conversation about making sugar because we make cane syrup in our sugar shack,” Wilson said.

Wilson is from Louisiana and took trips as a kid to Tifton. Years later she moved to Tifton to work at the museum to recreate those memories with other children.

Tom Tindall is from San Antonio, Texas and said his granddaddy was a sharecropper in Tifton.

“He moved around every couple of years on the farm trying to make a living in these parts. It’s a cool little place for me,” Tindal said.

Tom Tindal came from San Antonio Texas to relive his childhood, which was in South Georgia.
Tom Tindal came from San Antonio Texas to relive his childhood, which was in South Georgia.(WALB)

Tindal lived in South Georgia when he was younger. Saturday, he was on a mission to rediscover his childhood.

“There’s a lady called Mrs. Tuff from a small city called Cloverdale and she sold supplies, canned goods and sodas and tobacco and gasoline to help people out. It was just a small little country store. Supposedly they moved it here. I am here to try to find it to see if it is here,” Tindall said.

Josh Tracy is from Columbus and he said he teaches his daughter the importance of learning where she comes from.

“We wouldn’t be where we are today without our history, so it’s important to educate ourselves about what our ancestors went through,” Tracy said.

The next event at the ABAC Georgia Museum of Agriculture will be their sugar cane-making demonstration in November.

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