Category Archives: Festival

Videos: Finalist Sweet William Billy Ennis plays Choctaw Spirits of the Suwannee @ SuwRK Songwriting 2020

Sweet William Billy Ennis from Palatka, Florida, was the second finalist to play at the 2020 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, with his song, “Choctaw Spirits of the Suwannee.” Here are videos.


[Sweet William Billy Ennis two views]
Sweet William Billy Ennis two views

The organizing committee is all ears for suggestions for headliners and judges for this year’s Contest, which will be Saturday, August 21, 2021, at the same location, Turner Center Art Park, Valdosta, Georgia. We will start accepting songs on April First: no fooling!

Finalist Kathy Lou Gilman plays My Love, My Suwannee @ Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020

Here are videos of the first finalist to play at the 2020 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest: Kathy Lou Gilman from Kingsland, Georgia, with her song, “My Love, My Suwannee.”

[Kathy Lou Gilman two views]
Kathy Lou Gilman two views

The organizing committee is all ears for suggestions for headliners and judges for this year’s Contest, which will be Saturday, August 21, 2021, at the same location, Turner Center Art Park, Valdosta, Georgia. We will start accepting songs on April First: no fooling! Continue reading

Video: Virus, Full Moon, Bacteria, Okefenokee, Mayor’s Paddle, Songwriting –Suwannee Riverkeeper on Scott James radio 2020-12-14

On the radio Monday I announced that the Solstice Light Parade for this Saturday is canceled due to worries about the audience during the virus pandemic resurgence, so come to the December 29, 2020, Full Moon paddle instead.

Please help get the candidates in the Georgia runoff elections to help get the state of Georgia to stop the strip mine proposed far too near the Okefenokee Swamp.

[Many topics]
Many topics

Valdosta Mayor Scott James gracefully conceded the M.C. spot at the August 2021 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest to Steve Nichols, who is also a radio host. We talked about what it will take to pull off the Mayor’s Paddle, February 6, 2020, from Troupville Boat Ramp to Spook Bridge on the Withlacoochee River.

For any paddles, it’s good to know the water is clean, so we talked about Valdosta’s sewer system progress, including how the outflow from the WWTP is clean now, and the new catch basin is good, but is it big enough? We asked listeners to report anybody seen dumping into the Withlacoochee River, and the general water quality testing situation, including in Brooks County.

Starting this weekend, WWALS volunteers will be planting the new at-water water trail signs.

Here’s a WWALS video playlist: Continue reading

Videos: Headliner Dirty Bird and the Flu at Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020

Everybody loved the judges playing at the 2020 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, and they really loved the headliner, Dirty Bird and the Flu.

Dirty Bird and the Flu, Headliner, 2020 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

So here is video of Dirty Bird and the Flu:

Don’t worry; video of the finalists will be up soon. And the winners. And more Dirty Bird and the Flu.

Yes, we’re preparing for the 2021 Songwriting Contest, and you can help.

Meanwhile, you can watch the entire contest up to just before the finalists in this WWALS video playlist:

Continue reading

Canceled: WWALS Solstice Light Parade 2020-12-19

Due to the spike in COVID-19 cases, the Solstice Light Parade is canceled. Better safe than sorry, and we don’t want a gathering of viewers to turn into a virus vector.

Light Parade organizer Shelby Miller asks for you to please come instead to the Full Cold Moon Paddle, same location, Banks Lake Boat Ramp, on Tuesday, December 29, 2020: gather 4:45 PM, launch 4:50 PM, end 6 PM. We will paddle out to watch the sun set and the moon rise. Dress warmly.

Follow this link for details:
https://wwals.net/?p=53995

You can decorate your boat and everybody paddling can see it. But we will not be offering prizes at the Full Cold Moon Paddle and we will not be encouraging spectators on shore.

There is plenty of room at Banks Lake Boat Ramp for everyone to stay apart, and on the water everyone is always far enough apart. We will be using an infrared thermometer to check temperatures, and we will be requiring masks at the boat ramp.

[Floating living room]
Floating living room, Banks Lake Full Moon paddle 2020-10-01.

If you already paid for a ticket to the Light Parade, you can roll it over to the Full Moon Paddle or another later outing. Or, if you prefer, we will refund your money.

We are aware that this is two outings in a row canceled, after the previous Full Moon paddle was called off because of weather. That is very unfortunate.

Still, we’d rather err on the side of caution than risk spreading that disease.

More: For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS calendar or the WWALS outings and events web page. WWALS members also get an upcoming list in the Tannin Times monthly newsletter.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Okefenokee, Light Parade, Mayor’s Paddle –Suwannee Riverkeeper on Scott James radio 2020-12-14

Update 2020-12-17: Videos.

Monday morning at 7AM, Suwannee Riverkeeper will be on Scott James Talk 92.1 FM radio, about the Solstice Light Parade at Banks Lake that Saturday, the Mayor’s Paddle in early February, and how you can ask the Georgia governor to stop a strip mine far too near the Okefenokee Swamp, and ask him to stop that wood pellet plant in Adel while you’re at it.

We’ll probably also talk about water trails, water quailty testing, and who knows what else.

[Last time, 2020-10-13]
Last time, 2020-10-13

When: 7 AM, Monday, December 14, 2020

Where: Talk 92.1 FM radio, Scott James drivetime show
http://talk921.com/

Listen: Over the air, or through the radio show’s own website, or through any of several online listening services.

Event: facebook

For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see Continue reading

Water Trails, Okefenokee, Pellet Plant, Songwriting Contest, Light Parade –Suwannee Riverkeeper on Steve Nichols Radio 2020-12-08

Always fun to be on the Steve Nichols radio show, 105.9 FM WVGA, especially when he just agreed to be the Master of Ceremonies for the 2021 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.

You can ask Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to get GA-EPD to deny permits for a titanium strip mine far too close to the Okefenokee Swamp. While you’re at it, you can ask him to deny a permit for the Adel wood pellet plant. You’ll see our water trail signs popping up along the rivers and on the roadways, and we’re distributing the brochures. Don’t forget to come to the Solstice Light Parade at Banks Lake, Saturday, December 19, 2020, and the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, Saturday, August 21, 2021 at the Turner Center Arts Park in Valdosta.

Here are WWALS videos.

Videos: Judges Play at Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020

Here are videos of an unusual feature of the 2020 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest: the three judges each played a song.

[Judges play]
Judges play

Stay tuned for more videos, of the 2020 headliners, finalists, awards, and more.

The annually-reconstituted WWALS Songwriting Contest Committee now has four songwriters on it, and is considering right now who to ask to be judges and headliners for the 2021 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest. Send your suggestions to song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org.

Song submissions by contestants will commence in April.

Once again we thank our top-tier sponsor Georgia Beer Company, who said they would do it again in 2021.

More sponsors are welcome. It’s a good opportunity to get your name or your organization’s out there along with a fun time and a good cause.

Light Parade at Banks Lake, Okefenokee Swamp, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest on Steve Nichols radio 2020-12-08

Update 2020-12-10: video.

We’re proud to announce that Steve Nichols has accepted our invitation to be the Master of Ceremonies at the Fourth Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, Saturday evening, August 2021, at the Turner Center Art Park in Valdosta, GA.
https://wwals.net/pictures/2021-08-21–songwriting/

He and I will talk about that on his radio show at 8:30 AM Tuesday, December 8, 2020, on 105.9 FM WVGA.

We’ll also discuss the WWALS Solstice Light Parade, Saturday, December 19, 2020, at Banks Lake, just west of Lakeland, GA.
https://wwals.net/pictures/2020-12-19–light-parade/

And how Georgia is all that stands between some strip miners from Alabama and the Okefenokee Swamp, and how you can help.
https://wwals.net/?p=54187

Suwannee Riverkeeper on Steve Nichols radio, 2020-10-06

WVGA FM says:

The top rated morning talk show in south Georgia, Steve Nichols offers both sides of every story from Berrien County to the Beltway, and everywhere in between.

When: 8:30 AM, Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Where: 105.9 FM WVGA

or the WVGA Live apps,
through ValdostaToday.com (link on front page),
on Alexa devices,
or you can stream in-studio video at the official Morning Drive Facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/TheMorningDriveWithSteveNichols/ Continue reading

Please vote for clean water and Yes on Georgia Amendment 1, 2020-11-03 2020-11-01

WWALS members already got our monthly Tannin Times newsletter via email. We’re posting this one, because its second page has many reasons to vote for clean water. Please vote for clean water on Election Day, if you have not already!

Georgians, don’t forget to vote Yes on Amendment 1.

[Tannin Times, WWALS monthly newsletter]
Tannin Times, WWALS monthly newsletter PDF

November 2020 Tannin Times

WWALS Biota November 2020: Remembering biota past

In both Mesoamerican indigenous cultures and European Christian traditions, late autumn is a time when the dead are remembered, as seen in the Dia de los Muertos in Mexico and All Souls Day in many other western countries. It seems fitting, then, as November comes in and autumn is felt across the coastal plain, that we consider biota past.

Continue reading