Joyce Marie Taylor
Make plans now to come out to Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs for the 61st Annual Florida Folk Festival on May 24-26.
Each year the month of May welcomes the Florida Folk Festival to the park and this year’s event promises a fantastic lineup of entertainers that include the Bellamy Brothers, Jim Stafford, Ben Prestage, Moors & McCumber, Passerine, Jubal’s Kin, The Curry’s, Ed Cotton, Mindy Simmons & the Hot Pockets, Bing Futch, Rachel Carrick, Frank Thomas, Montine Humphries, Doug Gauss and many more.
The Florida Folk Festival began in 1953 and is held annually on Memorial Day weekend on the banks of the Suwannee River. It is a rain or shine event, so don’t let the weather stop you from coming out to enjoy the splendor in the park and on the historic Suwannee River.
The Florida Folk Festival has been ranked among the top 20 festivals in the southeast. With lots of music, delicious food, jam sessions, workshops and shopping, there will be plenty to do for visitors of all ages.
Be sure to check out the Folklife Area and experience the diverse cultures and unique traditions, as well as savor the flavors, sights and sounds of some of Florida's oldest and newest cultural communities.
Sit with the masters who keep cultural traditions alive. Join in the jam sessions, demonstrations and workshops, or try your hand at playing the mandolin, making a pine needle basket or calling a square dance.
There will be plenty to eat and you can even chow down on some collard greens, cornbread, chicken pilau, hoppin' john, shrimp gumbo, barbecue, curries and gyros.
The fun continues as the sunny afternoon events turn into moonlight concerts and dancing at the Heritage Stage.
Advance tickets are $25 per day or $50 for the entire weekend for adults. Tickets at the gate are $30 per day or $60 for the weekend. Children under six years are admitted free. Ticket prices for children between the ages of six and 16 for the entire weekend are $5. No pets and no personal golf carts are allowed. Gates open daily at 8 a.m. Camping is not offered during the festival, but there are plenty of places to camp in the area, including Suwannee River State Park, Oleno State Park, Ocean Pond and Spirit of the Suwannee.
For more information, please call 1-877-6FL-FOLK (1-877-635-3655) or visit www.floridastateparks.org/stephenfoster or www.FloridaFolkFestival.com.