Rain doesn't drown Azalea Festival

Mar. 15—VALDOSTA — The weather dampened but didn't destroy the turnout for the 24th annual Azalea Festival in Valdosta March 9-10.

Rough weather on Saturday, March 9, caused off-duty police to ask patrons to leave Drexel Park to seek shelter while vendors were told to secure tents and booths, said Aaron Strickland, the festival's executive director.

"We were in constant contact with the National Weather Service's Tallahassee office," he said. The weather service's staff called festival workers as soon as storms started appearing in the area, Strickland said.

Drexel Park, the site of the festival, got about three inches of rain, he said.

After the storms passed, some vendors were able to restart business as some patrons returned, Strickland said.

Turnout was good on Sunday under pleasant skies, with about 10,000 visitors, he said.

"We're already planning the 25th annual Azalea Festival," which will be held March 8-9, 2025, Strickland said.

Terry Richards is the senior reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times.