As the holiday season approaches, there’s no better time to explore Columbia County, Florida. Experience it as the locals do with favorite events that have become yearly traditions. Here are the top annual Holiday events.
Old Tyme Farm Days
The past will come to life Thanksgiving weekend at the annual Old Tyme Farm Days and Swap Meet. The family-friendly event showcases the region’s heritage with exhibitions and activities that demonstrate what life was like in the late 1800s. Learn about biscuit making or cane grinding—the traditional process of making syrup from sugarcane. Antique equipment will be on display, and there will be a tractor parade and tractor pull. Rounding out the old-fashioned fun will be arts and crafts, soap making, jams and jellies, kettle corn and homemade ice cream. There will also be a kids’ music expo, featuring an instrument petting zoo where children can get hands-on with a variety of musical instruments. Old Tyme Farm Days takes place on Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24 at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park and Campground in Live Oak. Entry is free, and camping is available for an additional cost.
Festival of Lights
Get in the holiday spirit with the dazzling Festival of Lights in White Springs. With more than 5 million lights, the annual extravaganza at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park has been recognized as a Top 20 Event in the Southeastern United States. This year’s festival is shaping up to be the biggest and brightest yet, with picturesque oak trees wrapped with lights, a gingerbread village, a candy cane forest and Santa’s workshop. The park’s antebellum museum will be decked out in classic Christmas fashion. Seasonal snacks include hot cocoa and roasted marshmallows, and you may even find yourself in the middle of a snow flurry! Festival of Lights runs from Friday, Nov. 30 through Sunday, Dec. 23, from 6-9 p.m. Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park is named in honor of the man who wrote Florida’s state song, “Old Folks at Home,” commonly known as “Way Down Upon the Suwannee River.” If you’d like to learn more about north Florida’s folk history during your visit to Columbia County, the museum and tower are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The state park opens at 8 a.m. and offers hiking and mountain biking trails, wildlife viewing, paddling and fishing.
The sights and sounds of the season continue at Suwannee Lights, the annual holiday light show at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak. This year’s theme is “A Magical Christmas.” You’ll be able to view millions of lights from the comfort of your car as you drive through the vibrant scenes. Warm up with a cup of hot cocoa and have your picture taken with Santa. Suwannee Lights runs from Dec. 1-30, with entrance beginning at 6 p.m. The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is an event venue and campground located on the banks of the Suwannee River. In addition to Suwannee Lights, the park has live music throughout the week in the Music Hall.
Lake City Snow Day
Snow is in the forecast for Lake City this December! For one day only, December 8th, downtown will be transformed into a winter wonderland with 30 tons of snow. There will be two snow slides, bounce houses for kids, a 26-foot dual lane slide, live entertainment and food vendors. A highlight will certainly be the visit from the man in red himself, Santa Claus! Snow Day will be held at Darby Pavilion at Wilson Park starting at 9am on December 8th. The snow and children’s activities are free. Stick around in downtown Lake City after Snow Day for the annual Christmas parade, which will be held that evening. Snow day is hosted by the Lake City—Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, and the Christmas parade is presented by the Lake City Rotary Club.
There’s always something exciting going on in Columbia County. Click here to view the events calendar and find out what else is happening when you visit.