Category Archives: Festival

One month to WWALS Boomerang paddle race into Florida and back to Georgia 2020-10-24

It was a lot of fun for all ages last year, and you can paddle this year! The WWALS Boomerang is coming up Saturday, October 24, 2020, at State Line Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River. You can choose 1, 2, or 3 miles downstream into Florida, and then back up.

[Pictures Banner]
Pictures Banner

There is plenty of room for distancing at the boat ramp, and even more room on the water.

Each of the winners in many categories gets one of those WWALS Boomerang tumblers, and there’s a $100 First Prize!

Tickets are on sale now, $20 online until October 15, then $30 at the event.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wwals-boomerang-paddle-race-2020-tickets-118844038719

Canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards are welcome to register starting at 9 AM, Saturday, October 24, 2020, with the race to begin at 11 AM.

It was a fast start last year: Continue reading

WWALS Boomerang 2020-10-24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, September 4, 2020 — For the third year, people will paddle down the Withlacoochee River from Georgia three miles into Florida, and back upstream, in the WWALS Boomerang! Canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards are welcome to register starting at 9 AM, Saturday, October 24, 2020, with the race to begin at 11 AM. There will be prizes, and food, and drink. “There will be plenty of water, no deadfalls, and probably some shoals to make it more interesting,” said Boomerang mastermind and WWALS Outings Chair Bobby McKenzie.

[WWALS Boomerang 2020]
WWALS Boomerang 2020
PDF

Tickets are on sale now, $20 online until October 15, then $30 at the event.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wwals-boomerang-paddle-race-2020-tickets-118844038719

State Line Boat Ramp is at 6461 Madison Highway, Valdosta, GA 31601. Heading south down I-75, take Exit 11, turn west, and keep going until you see the boat ramp sign, then turn right. From Madison, Florida, head up CR 150 until you cross the river, make a U-turn, and head down to the ramp. “That’s the WWALS road sign for State Line Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail,” said WWALS Trails Committee Chair Dan Phillips. “And down by the boat ramp we have two informational signs: what to see downstream and up, safety, etiquette, etc.”

The course starts in Lowndes County, Georgia, and goes through Brooks County, GA, and Madison and Hamilton Counties, Florida.

“Thanks to the many sponsors Bobby has rustled up: Continue reading

Winners: Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020-08-22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Winners and excellent music from the judges and headliner, too, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

Hahira, GA, August 24, 2020 — Everyone went away happy. The finalists got prizes, and the audience was impressed with the song each judge played, and with the headliner. The audience was impressed that one contestant, who couldn’t come due to the virus pandemic, was projected on the bandstand via zoom anyway.

[Winners*: Brian Barker* via zoom, accepting for, Scott Perkins*, Laura D'Alisera, Kathy Lou Gilman*, John S. Quarterman, Billy Ennis*, Ronni Dillon (not present)]
Winners*: Brian Barker via zoom*, accepting for him, Scott Perkins*, Laura D’Alisera, Kathy Lou Gilman*, John S. Quarterman, Sweet William Billy Ennis*, Ronni Dillon (not present)

The winners are: Continue reading

Yes, today! Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020-08-22

Yes, we’re on for this evening for the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest!

The rain is predicted to stop well before the show starts at 7 PM. So come on down to the Turner Center Art Park and hear our headliner, Dirty Bird and the Flu, our three judges will play a song, and the finalists will play for you and the judges! Scott James of 92.1 FM talk radio will be the M.C.

Somebody will win the $300 First Prize, and the other prizes.

[First Prize, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest]
First Prize, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

The Contest Finals are today, 7-9 PM, August 22, 2020, at the Turner Center Art Park, 605 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601.

Tickets are still available online for $10 until 4PM.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/third-annual-suwannee-riverkeeper-songwriting-contest-finals-tickets-110284875030

Or at the door for $12 at the door (children under 12 free).

Bring your own chairs and tables if you can. We will have some, but if you can bring your own, that will be great.

There’s plenty of room to have tables spaced apart. We will have spots marked, with aisles in between. We will be requiring masks when you go up to the WWALS information tables or close to others not in your group. If you don’t have a mask, don’t worry: we brought a bunch. We will be using our infrared thermometer to check for fever as people come in.

Please park at the Turner Center for the Arts, and walk north across the side street to the Art Park. The Turner Center asks please nobody park or drive on the grass.

You can register now for the silent auction online.
https://www.betterunite.com/WWALS-suwanneeriverkeepersongwritingcontestandsilentauction

We’ve had some nice donations and hope that you will consider bidding generously. Or if you don’t see anything you want to bid on, perhaps you’d make a one time donation or become a regular monthly donor at:
https://www.gagives.org/organization/Wwals-Watershed-Coalition

We will have a “mini booth” with caps, stickers, posters, etc available. Stop by and get involved with our clean water initiatives. We appreciate all of our regular donors, our members, our sponsors, and YOU, and look forward to seeing you Saturday night.

Kayak raffle tickets will be available for the drawing in December, or you can get those online as well.
http://wwals.net/?p=53215

Food will be by Rico’s Tacos’ food truck. Drinks will be provided by the Pour House.

Our top-tier sponsor, Georgia Beer Company, will say a few words, as will our host, the Turner Arts Center, and several WWALS people will speak about programs, projects, stewardship, and advocacy. Each elected official present will get three minutes to speak on any subject; just remember it’s a festival.

For much more, follow this link:
http://wwals.net/pictures/2020-08-22–songwriting/

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Songwriting Contest on Steve Nichols radio show 2020-08-18

Here is video of Steve Nichols and Suwannee Riverkeeper talking about the Songwriting Contest on the radio, last Tuesday morning at 8:30 AM, 105.9 FM WVGA.

Tickets to listen are available, $10 online or $12 at the door (children under 12 free).
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/third-annual-suwannee-riverkeeper-songwriting-contest-finals-tickets-110284875030

For VIP tables send email to song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org.

[Radio, History, Waterworks, Georgia Beer Co.]
Radio, History, Waterworks, Georgia Beer Co.

The Contest Finals are this Saturday (tomorrow), 7-9 PM, August 22, 2020, at the Turner Center Art Park, 605 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601.

Scott James of 92.1 FM will be the M.C. The headliner, Dirty Bird and the Flu, will play. Then each of the three judges will play. The finalists will play for the judges and you the audience. Somebody will win the $300 First Prize, and the other prizes.

[First Prize, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest]
First Prize, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

There will be a silent auction and kayak raffle tickets will be available. Our top-tier sponsor, Georgia Beer Company, will say a few words, as will our host, the Turner Arts Center, and several WWALS people will speak about programs, projects, stewardship, and advocacy. Each elected official present will get three minutes to speak on any subject; just remember it’s a festival.

Bring your own chairs and tables if you can. We will have some, but if you can bring your own, that will be great. There’s plenty of room to have tables spaced apart. We will be requiring masks when you go up to the WWALS information tables or close to others not in your group.

Food will be by Rico’s Tacos’ food truck. Drinks will be provided by the Pour House.

For much more, follow this link: http://wwals.net/pictures/2020-08-22–songwriting/

Steve Nichols and I also talked about Why care about the waters?, WWALS Cleanups and Outings, Water Quality Testing, Masks at the Contest, and Georgia Beer Company, Top Tier Sponsor.

Why care about the waters?

Video at 3:33. Steve Nichols asked why I was so involved in this water stuff.

A century ago, my grandfather Continue reading

Songwriting Contest on Scott James Radio 2020-08-18

The first of three radio interviews yesterday about the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest was at 7:30 AM on the Scott James show, 92.1 FM.

Songwriting on the radio

Scott James will be the M.C. of the Contest, which is this Saturday, 7-9 PM, August 22, 2020, at the Turner Center Art Park, 605 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601.

Tickets to listen are available, $10 online or $12 at the door (children under 12 free).
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/third-annual-suwannee-riverkeeper-songwriting-contest-finals-tickets-110284875030

For VIP tables send email to song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org.

I’m pretty sure M.C. Scott James promised to keep the weather fine this Saturday evening. We will have a couple of tents for the M.C. and the judges.

After Scott James and I talked about that, I asked, “Please bring your own chairs and tables. We will have some, but if you can bring your own, that’s great.”

There’s more below about the Songwriting Contest, about Masks and Distance, and about Georgia Beer Company, Top Tier Sponsor.

We also talked about Current Situation of Water Quality Testing, Suwannee River Basin 2020-08-02, WWALS Summary of FDEP chemical and biological tracers, Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers 2020-08-05, and Troupville River Park, Outings: bike and paddle, full moons, and cleanups. Continue reading

Georgia Beer Co., top-tier sponsor, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020-08-13

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, August 17, 2020 — New WWALS President Tom H. Johnson Jr. came to Valdosta and picked up a thousand dollar check from Georgia Beer Company founders Chris Jones and Jack Martin, as top-tier sponsor of the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.

“Everything depends on clean water, especially beer,” said Chris Jones, originally from Madison, Florida, where he used to report on Valdosta sewage coming down the Withlacoochee River (that situation is getting better now).

“We appreciate Georgia Beer Company’s increased support. In addition to the check, we look forward to having merchandise in the silent auction,” said WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman.

“We met in college, and we’ve been brewing ever since,” said Jack Martin. “We use Valdosta city water; we just remove the chlorination.”

“They really have their act together, especially hearing about their entrepeneurship in starting Georgia Beer Company,” said WWALS President Tom H. Johnson, Jr. “And we thank Georgia Beer Company for helping us stage the acts for the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest!”

[T2, Jack, Chris, jsq, Georgia Beer Co., Suwannee Riverkeeper]
WWALS President Tom H. Johnson, Jr., Georgia Beer Co. founders Jack Martin and Chris Jones, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman 2020-08-13

“Come on down to the Turner Center Art Park Saturday and enjoy some live music,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Local stars Dirty Bird and the Flu are our headliners. Each of the three judges will sing a song. And then the five finalists will play for you and the judges. A $300 First Prize will be awarded, and other prizes, as well!”

You can hear about it in advance on the radio 8:30 AM Tuesday, August 18, 2020, with Suwannee Riverkeeper on The Morning Drive with Steve Nichols, WVGA 105.9 FM. You can listen on the air, or follow the above link for other ways to hear the radio show.

The Third Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest will be live 7-10 PM, Saturday, August 22, 2020, at the Turner Center Art Park, 605 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601.

Tickets to listen are available, $10 online or $12 at the door (children under 12 free).
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/third-annual-suwannee-riverkeeper-songwriting-contest-finals-tickets-110284875030

For VIP tables send email to song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org.

Scott James, of 92.1 FM Radio, will be the M.C. at the Contest Finals. Rico’s Tacos will provide food, and the Pour House will provide drinks. There will be a silent auction and kayak raffle tickets will be available. Our top-tier sponsor, Georgia Beer Company, will say a few words, as will our host, the Turner Arts Center, and several WWALS people will speak about programs, projects, stewardship, and advocacy. Each elected official present will get three minutes to speak on any subject; just remember it’s a festival.

For much more, follow this link: http://wwals.net/pictures/2020-08-22–songwriting/

[Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020]
Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020
PDF

About WWALS: Founded in June 2012, WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) advocates for conservation and stewardship of the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, Santa Fe, and Suwannee River watersheds in south Georgia and north Florida through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities. John S. Quarterman is the Suwannee Riverkeeper®, which is a staff position and a project of WWALS as the member of Waterkeeper® Alliance for the Suwannee River Basin.

Contact: John S. Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper
WWALS Watershed Coalition
song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org
850-290-2350
229-242-0102
PO Box 88, Hahira, GA 31632

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Continue reading

Reed Bingham SP, underrated southern nature lover destination –Forbes 2020-08-07

The Little River Trail mentioned is a hiking trail, but it and Reed Bingham State Park (RBSP) are on the WWALS Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail. RBSP is the site of the annual WWALS and FORB BIG Little River Paddle Race and where last summer FORB invited WWALS to help fifty new boaters paddle.

Jared Ranahan, Forbes, August 7, 2020, Six Underrated Southern Destinations To Include On A Nature Lover’s Road Trip,

[Forbes: Reed Bingham State Park, Underrated Southern Nature Lover Destination]
Forbes: Reed Bingham State Park, Underrated Southern Nature Lover Destination
“The gopher tortoise is a burrowing animal, and other creatures such as gopher frogs, indigo snakes, … [+] Georgia Department of Natural Resources”

Reed Bingham State Park

For those wishing to encounter a wide array of native Georgian flora and fauna, few destinations compare to Reed Bingham State Park, a 1,613-acre stretch of land located in the depths of rural southern Georgia. The park is rife with hiking trails that showcase the rich biodiversity of the region—the Little River Trail crosses through pristine swamp, offering glimpses of river otters, turtles, and bald cypress trees, while the short Turkey Oak Trail is home to native ectothermic species ranging from indigo snakes to Georgia’s own state reptile, the gopher tortoise. Be sure to spend some time exploring the banks of Reed Bingham Park Lake—this idyllic water feature is a popular local spot for kayaking and fishing.

Continue reading

Five Finalists Chosen for Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (see also PDF)

Five Finalists Chosen for Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

Hahira, Georgia, August 7, 2020 — The organizing committee has reviewed the songs received, and chosen five finalists, for the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest:

  • Brian Barker, from Live Oak, FL, with a Folk Rock song, “The River.”
  • Ronni Dillon, from Waycross, GA, with a Folk-Alternative song, “Okefenokee Memory.”
  • Sweet William Billy Ennis, from Palatka, FL, with a Folk song, “Choctaw Spirits of the Suwannee.”
  • Kathy Lou Gilman, from Kingsland, GA, with an American Music Revival song, “The River Song (My love, my Suwannee).”
  • Scott Perkins, from Smyrna, GA, with a Southern Boogie song, “Hoochie-Coochie for the Withlacoochee.”

Our headliner, Dirty Bird and the Flu, will play first, and then each of the three judges will play a song. The finalists will play, and the judges will select winners of the $300 First Prize, the $50 prize for best song from within the Suwannee River Basin, the $50 prize for best song from outside, and plaques for each musical genre.

“We are pleased to get all this far-flung interest by songwriters,” said WWALS Songwriting Contest Committee Chair Tom H. Johnson, Jr., who was also recently elected president of WWALS.

“The judges are equally far-flung,” said Committee member Laura D’Alisera, who won the contest its first year. “Emmy Law is from Nashville, Tennessee, Cindy Bear is from Jacksonville, Florida, and J.J. Rolle is from Valdosta, Georgia.”

“We invite everyone local and far to come listen,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “We will also be livestreaming to online ticket holders.”

Tickets to listen are on sale now, $10 online, or $12 at the door (children under 12 free).
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/third-annual-suwannee-riverkeeper-songwriting-contest-finals-tickets-110284875030

For VIP tables in front of the stage, contact song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org.

Scott James, of 92.1 FM Radio, will be the M.C. at the Contest Finals. They will be from 7-10 PM on Saturday, August 22, 2020, at the Turner Center Art Park, 605 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601, just north of the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts. Rico’s Tacos will provide food, and the Pour House will provide drinks. There will be a silent auction and kayak raffle tickets will be available.

Our top-tier sponsor, Georgia Beer Company, will say a few words, as will our host, the Turner Arts Center, and several WWALS people will speak about programs, projects, stewardship, and advocacy. Each elected official present will get three minutes to speak on any subject; just remember it’s a festival.

[Third Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest]
Third Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

Due to the virus pandemic situation and executive orders by the Georgia Governor, we will be requiring all attendees to maintain physical distancing, except with those in their party, and we will be requiring all to wear masks when near others not in their party.

Everything else about the Songwriting Contest is here:
http://wwals.net/pictures/2020-08-22–songwriting/

About WWALS: Founded in June 2012, WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) advocates for conservation and stewardship of the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, Santa Fe, and Suwannee River watersheds in south Georgia and north Florida through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities. John S. Quarterman is the Suwannee Riverkeeper®, which is a staff position and a project of WWALS as the member of Waterkeeper® Alliance for the Suwannee River Basin.

Contact: John S. Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper
WWALS Watershed Coalition
song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org
850-290-2350
229-242-0102
PO Box 88, Hahira, GA 31632

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Video: Final Deadline Today, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest on Steve Nichols Radio 2020-07-21

Steve Nichols helped remind everyone on the radio this morning that the last chance to send in a song is tonight at midnight, through this form:
https://forms.gle/buQjC4e6oEKDoc537

We also talked about water quality testing (including a grant by Georgia Power), water trails, outings, hats, contacting Georgia Governor Kemp about that titanium mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp, and what is Suwannee Riverkeper, anyway?

You can listen to it all in the facebook video by The Morning Drive with Steve Nichols, starting at 2:34:35.

[Georgia Beer Co.]
Georgia Beer Co.

Thanks again to our top-tier sponsor of the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, Georgia Beer Co. Continue reading