PALATKA: A celebration of the beautiful azalea continues March 3 and 4 in this picturesque town on the St. Johns River, as the 72nd annual Florida Azalea Festival spotlights everything from great food to blooming plants
Highlights include the Azalea Parade beginning at 10 a.m. March 3 on Main Street; and the car show, in Riverfront Park, also on Saturday; Registration is from 8 to 11 a.m., and trophies will be awarded at 3:30 p.m.
The Florida Azalea Festival, held the first full weekend in March, is one of the oldest in the state, dating back to 1936 when it was created as Jaycees Days. There is no charge for this celebration which features live entertainment, arts and crafts, vendors and food, which take second place to the beautiful azaleas.
Another highlight is the Anything Azalea Art Show which includes cash prizes.
An invitation is issued to visit Ravine Gardens State Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 3 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 4, 1600 Twigg St. There on Saturday food, refreshment and entertainment will be offered on Saturday. Sunday, guided hikes will be available at 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. beginning at the formal gardens.
Admission to the gardens is $4 per person, children 6 and under free. The Ravine Gardens is just minutes from the Azalea Festival in downtown Palatka. For further information go to http://www.flazaleafest.com.