Each February, since 1976, in the vast timberland that is Columbia and Baker Counties, those who remember join professional War Between the States’ re-enactors in commemoration of this historic moment and in celebrating the accomplishments seeded by those spirited pioneers. The Battle of Olustee Festival is the second largest reenactment in the United States. The Festival Downtown - Events begin on Friday with a memorial service at Oak Lawn Cemetary in downtown Lake City. At 9:00 am the streets of downtown come alive with arts, crafts and food vendors, they remain all day Friday and Saturday. Throughout both days two entertainment stages have continuous live entertainment. On Friday night Lake Desoto in downtown is the site of the Battle of the Ironclads, the Monitor and the Merrimac. Watch as this battle is re-created on the Lake. The Battlefield - The Olustee Battlefield Park, the Re-enactment campsites and Sutlers Row open at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Olustee Battle Re-Enactment begins at 1:30 p.m.
Lake City Garden Club Antique Show Martha Ronsonet, 386-752-6504
Florida Gateway Pro-Rodeo Columbia County Fairgrounds 386-752-8822, 752-8822 For 3 days in March Columbia County resembles the old west. During this time cowboys and girls from all over descend on Lake City to participate in the Florida Gateway Pro Rodeo. There is something for everyone, young and old. For the kids the Calf Scramble brings great fun for the kids and laughter for the adults. Show your friends that you’ve got the right stuff with a ride on the mechanical bull.
Part of the National Rodeo Circuit, the Wrangler Dodge Series, events include bull riding, roping, team riding, and barrel riding.
Hog Wild & Pig Crazy Bar-B-Que Lake City, Florida Haywood Christie, 386-758-5450 Begun in 1993, the Hog Wild and Pig Crazy Barbecue & Chili Cook-off is held in the spring of each year. The event is sponsored by the Lake City-Columbia County Parks and Recreation Department and is sanctioned by the Sanctioned Contest Network. Judging for the event is in accordance with Memphis in May Rules. Thousands of dollars in prize money and trophies are given to the winners. In addition to the Cook-off, the event includes craft booths and carnival rides. Local dance and signing groups offer live entertainment throughout the event. The two- day event is held at Memorial Stadium in downtown Lake City.
Florida Sports Hall of Fame Induction Florida Sports Hall of Fame & Sports Museum Lake City, Florida Sandra Dillard, 386-758-1310
September Riding Club Rodeo Branford, Florida 386-362-2839 or 386-362-3071
Alligator Fest October 15 & 16, 1999
Alligator Fest will take you back to a time when the Lake City, "Alligator", area was young and Seminole Indian braves roamed freely over the lush valleys and hills surrounding their village, Alligator Town. The chief of the village was the regal Indian diplomat Halpatter Tustennuggee, informally referred to as Chief Alligator. .The Native American Living History Village will take you back to Lake City’s inception, almost two centuries ago. There you will be able to see demonstrations, purchase cultural arts and crafts, taste the food of the period, enjoy Indian dances, ceremonies, wild life demonstrations, and view artifact exhibits. Wagon and pony rides, in addition to canoe rides on Lake Desoto will be available throughout the festival. Native Americans will present programs on native dance, music, life skills and storytelling. Live alligator and cougar shows and a panther presentation are a part of the program.
For further information write Alligator Fest, P.O. Box 487, Lake City, Florida 32056-0487, or call 386-719-9887.
Annual Jeanie Ball White Springs, Florida 386-397-4331
Alligator Fest Historic Downtown , Lake City Harvey Campbell, 386-758-1397
Early November: Columbia County Fair
North Florida Charity Airshow Sonja Yarbrough, Public Relations Chairperson 386/752-1822, ext 1247 The Lake City Municipal Airport becomes a hub of activity when the airshow comes to Lake City. The former Canadian Snow Bird pilots who are part of the Northern Lights Aerobatic Team will be the featured act. Included in the lineup will be Gene Soucy, a former member of the Pitt Special Aerobatic Team and demonstrations by an F-18 and A-10 from the U.S. Air Force. Also on display are military and civilian static displays of aircraft and motorcycles. Additional activities include the vendor village offering food, drinks and souvenirs, a large Boy Scout of American encampment and the Annual North Florida Motorcycle Invitational. DECEMBER
Festival of Lights Downtown, Lake City Main Street, 386-755-9023 The Saturday following Thanksgiving Lake City’s Main Street comes alive with Christmas spirit. Crafts people and Artists from throughout the area add to the festive atmosphere of the Season. Olustee Park hosts Christmas entertainment by local groups. At dusk Santa arrives and the park is transformed into a fairyland as thousands of lights illuminate the park and downtown businesses. You may visit Santa Claus in his gingerbread house Monday - Saturday. The Festival of Lights continues each evening until January 1st. This year the theme for the Festival of Lights is a Victorian Christmas in Downtown, and Victorian figures can be seen on ever street in downtown.
Christmas Parade Lake City, Florida Lake City Chamber, 386-752-3690
1st Friday and Saturday in June: Blueberry Festival and Parade. Offered are arts & crafts and food vendors, blueberry cook-off, tasting party,
blueberry pancake breakfast, entertainment, talent contest and
the new Country Store offering country items for sale as well as
blueberry pies, cobbler, syrup, jelly, etc.
Valhalla Valhalla Combined Driving Event Wellborn, Florida 386-755-9911 The mild January weather, challenging course design, and friendly southern hospitality are just a few of the rewards that attracts world-class drivers from throughout the United States to the event. In a very short time the Valhalla Combined Driving Event has become a premier competition and one of only two Combined Driving Events in the the state sanctioned by the American Driving Society. These amiable but competitive individuals from all walks of life gather for three days to display the consummate skill levels required with single horses, ponies, pairs and four-in-hand teams to compete in three grueling phases of driven competition. These phases are: driven dressage, cones obstacles, and cross-country marathon
End of March into April: Suwannee County Fair
APRIL - Spring Bluegrass Festival Live Oak, Edwin McCook, 386-362-3071
MAY - Suwannee Bicycle Festival Live Oak 386-362-3071
DECEMBER - Christmas on the Square Live Oak, Florida Edwin McCook, 386-362-3071
The end of January into the first of February: Hoggetowne Medieval Faire: Annual Renaissance Fair in Gainesville, FloridaFind Yourself Transported Back in Time to the Days of a Young King Arthur. The Hoggetowne Medieval Faire will be held at the Alachua County Fairgrounds. The fairgrounds address is 2900 NE 39th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32609. The fairgrounds are located on the left just before the Gainesville Regional Airport on State Road 222.