Thousands attend Azalea Festival

The Azalea Festival draws between 20,000-30,000 people and hundreds of vendors each year to the city and county.

VALDOSTA — The azaleas are beginning to bloom, and soon the 24th annual Valdosta-Lowndes Azalea Festival will, too! On Saturday and Sunday, March 9 and 10, vendors and patrons will once again fill Drexel Park for the Valdosta area’s premier arts-and-crafts festival. The Azalea Festival is a major regional multi-day festival, providing a boost to the local economy and a way for local businesses to show their support for this beloved community event.

“We’re very excited to present another wonderful festival for our region. The Azalea Festival Board works year-round to plan and put on the best festival possible. Each year, we try hard to make each one a little bigger and better than the year before. The Azalea Festival is a major draw for visitors near and far,” said H. Aaron Strickland, executive director. “New for this year will be a Touch-A-Truck area in the expanded KidZone, as well as the return of the Azalea After Dark event held in partnership with the City of Valdosta at Unity Park (Saturday, March 9; 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.). The Azalea After Dark event consists of more musical entertainment, food trucks, and vendors. We’re very excited to continually expand the Azalea Festival to include our community partners and to give our out-of-town patrons even more of a reason to make Valdosta and Lowndes County their destination for the entire weekend.”

Vendor spots are now full; however, there is a waiting list available, Strickland said.

In addition to local and regional vendors, the festival attracts vendors from all over the country with unique arts & craft items. More than 250 arts & crafts, food, and entertainment vendors from as far away as Michigan, Maryland, and the Dakotas participate in the festival. Vendors range from arts and crafts to homemade candies, cakes, soaps, and jams, and the Azalea Festival has added more vendors and variety for the 2024 event.

“The vision of the Azalea Festival is to work to showcase the best of South Georgia and more,” said Strickland.

In addition to a variety of unique arts & craft vendors, the Azalea Festival also offers five stage areas of live entertainment, a KidZone area for children, a classic car show, VLPRA Azalea 5k run, and more during the two-day event, which sees more than 25,000 people. The Azalea Festival is able to offset a majority of the costs of its attractions and special events through sponsorships and donations from local businesses, families, and organizations.

Vendors who would like to be placed on the waiting list and sponsors interested in participating in the festival are encouraged to email or call (229) 269-9381 for more information. Several sponsorship levels and options are still available.

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