Celebrate the 66th Annual Florida Folk Festival Memorial Day Weekend
Author: Authentic Florida
Date: May 18, 2018 12:00 am
Category: Where to Go
Region: Festivals and Events
Location: 11016 Lillian Sanders Drive, White Springs, Florida 32096
Celebrate the 66th Annual Florida Folk Festival
Join the fun and festivities at the 2018 Florida Folk Festival as it kicks off Memorial Day Weekend along the banks of the Suwannee River featuring live music, dance, tall tales, and traditions.
The Festival is held at the Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Center, photo John Moran
The Florida Folk Festival is a three-day celebration of the music, dance, stories, crafts and food that make Florida unique. From Irish fiddle tunes, techno contra dancing and chocolate covered Key Lime pie, to the wide varieties of music brought by immigrants, the state's cultural heritage reflects the lives of generations of Florida families and communities. Throughout the Memorial Day weekend, more than 300 performances give voice and meaning to Florida's heritage.
The Folk Festival is held on the banks of the Suwannee River
The event is held at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in North Florida’s White Springs from May 25 – 27th. Every year the Department of State's Florida Folklife Program researches a special topic on Florida's traditional heritage. The Festival's 2018 Folklife Area will feature performances and demonstrations celebrating the diverse living traditions of an area of Florida. Be sure to visit the Folklife Area to experience the compelling traditions and savor the flavors, sights, and sounds, of some of Florida's oldest and newest cultural communities.
Over 300 performances occur during the Festival (group, Mourning Glories)
At the Florida Folk Festival, you can sit with the masters who keep cultural traditions alive. In jam sessions, demonstrations and workshops, try your own hand at playing mandolin, telling stories, or making a pine needle basket. Learn how to collect your family's history, call a square dance, or the importance of native plant and animal species. Take a shopping excursion and visit with Florida's traditional and contemporary craftsmen.
The Florida Folk Festival encourages attendees to join in the fun, Florida Folk Festival
Take a shopping excursion and visit with Florida's traditional and contemporary craftsmen.
Blacksmithing is one of the heritage arts featured at the Festival
In addition to music, the Festival’s folk life area demonstrates Florida's heritage arts including blacksmithing, butter churning, quilt making, a sugar cane boil, cracker whip making and fishing line casting.
The Festival demonstrates the heritage arts
Experience the old-time traditions and savor the flavors, sights, sounds, and tastes of some of Florida's oldest and newest cultural communities.
The famous Root Beer Float stand
Florida's Folk Festival offer superb food provided by local church groups
And if you came to eat, you found the right place. Famous for homemade root beer floats as well as authentic soul food served up by local church groups, including fried chicken, smoked mullet, shrimp, grits, greens, sweet tea and homemade desserts, the festival offers many mouthwatering choices with a heaping dose of genuine southern hospitality.
Bring your instruments and jam with local artists, Florida Folk Festival
At the Florida Folk Festival, you’re sure to hear plenty of wonderful music, enjoy tasty food, join a jam session, or workshop, while paying homage to Florida’s land, people and diverse cultural heritage!
As the sun sets, settle in for concerts by moonlight or dance the night away at the Heritage Stage. At the end of the day, you'll have discovered new corners of the state from the people who call Florida home.
Gates open at 8 a.m. and opening ceremonies will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 25th, on the banks of the Suwannee River.
Advance tickets for the Florida Folk Festival are $25.00 per day or $50.00 for the weekend for adults and $30.00 per day or $60.00 for the weekend at the gate. Children under six years of age are admitted free of charge. Ticket prices for children between the ages of six and 16 for the entire weekend are $5.00.
Tickets available at www.FloridaFolkFestival.com.
Enjoy White Springs: Home of the Florida Folk Festival
Adams Country Store, White Springs
White Springs, home of the Florida Folk Festival, is a quintessential small Florida town. Timber and cotton were once mainstays, but it also attracted well-heeled tourists in search of the relaxing, medicinal waters of the White Sulphur Springs. Back in the day, fancy hotels provided lodging as the railroad brought them to town.
Stephen Foster Culture Center Carillon plays Foster tunes
In 1851, composer Stephen Foster wrote the popular tune “Old Folks at Home,” and White Springs became a destination “Way Down Upon the Suwannee River.” Nowadays, while there is no longer a bubbly spring, the Spring Building still stands as a reminder of the past. The Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center and Park, known for its carillon playing melodic Stephen Foster tunes, is home to an antebellum museum that pays homage to Foster and his music.
Today, White Springs is an eco-tourist destination, as hikers and bikers enjoy nearby Florida trails and paddlers enjoy the rivers and springs. Bird watchers flock to traipse through the woods where Eagles, Osprey, Pileated Woodpeckers and Owls call home.
Enjoy a walking or biking tour of the small town to absorb its charm. Stroll down Spring Street to see the Adams County Store, churches dating to the late 1800’s, and several historic homes.
Big Shoals State Park home to Florida's largest whitewater rapids
Outside White Springs, along the Suwannee River, is Big Shoals State Park. This is home to Florida’s largest whitewater rapids. Hike the trails that lead to the shoals (shallow, rocky rapids). The well laid out trail in the pine flatwoods, along wetlands and beneath towering longleaf pines, is a good place to spot hawks, barred owls, and Pileated Woodpeckers.
Where to Stay:
Camping and lodging is also available at Suwannee River State Park, O’Leno State Park, and Spirit of the Suwannee to name a few. For a comprehensive list of local public and private campgrounds, cabins and motels visit Suwannee Valley.
The Festival is presented under the auspices of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Recreation and Parks.
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