Upcoming Events
at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park

Road Scholars

Explore North Florida's natural beauty & local culture along the Suwannee River in our learning programs for adults age 55 and older.  Leisure or active programs are available.  Learn more about the life and music of Stephen Foster.  Enjoy church suppers, local musicians and craftsman, or canoe and hike along the Suwannee. Call 
386-397-7009 for more information. 
Gift Shop 386- 397-1920 
or visit www.floridastateparks.org/stephenfoster.
"Movie Night​"
For more information

Festival of Lights*

December 5th through 31st

The park will be open each evening until 9 p.m., except Christmas Night, December 25 we will be closed. 
On Christmas Eve, December 24 we will be a drive through only.

Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park will host the 20th annual Festival of Lights, displaying more than five million lights throughout the park, . 

Named a Top 20 Event in the southeastern United States, visitors can enjoy award-winning holiday sights and sounds throughout the park. Unique holiday light displays include majestic oak trees decorated with thousands of lights, an antebellum Museum dressed in full holiday splendor, a gingerbread village, a candy cane forest, Santa’s runway and much more. The park’s centerpiece is the 200 foot tall Carillon Tower, which illuminates the night sky as holiday music rings from its bells.

Cousin Thelma Boltin’s Gift Shop will be open everyday from noon until 9:00 p.m. Complimentary hot cocoa and popcorn are served nightly as the Craft Square comes alive with craft demonstrations, a bonfire, marshmallow roasting and holiday singing for everyone.

Visitors can experience a “flurry” of fun in our winter wonderland which includes Santa! Weather reports predict a chance of snow flurries every evening on the hour and giant snow families have been spotted in the area! 

The entrance fee for this event is $3.00 per person. 
The Festival of Lights is sponsored by the Stephen Foster Citizens Support Organization, 
and made possible by the generous support of numerous local individuals and businesses.

Special Event Pricing*

Please call for additional Ranger lead programs throughout the year.

Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park
11016 Lillian Saunders Drive/ Hwy 41
White Springs, FL 32096
(386) 397-2733, (877) 635-3655


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park will host a concert in celebration of National Stephen Foster Day, commemorating his 1864 death.

A performance on the Stephen Foster Carillon will be played, which is more than 200 feet tall and contains the largest collection of tubular bells in the world. With 97 individual bells, the live performance will be just a highlight of this year's celebration. There will also be musical performances by this year’s Jeanie and Stephen Winners in period attire, a statewide vocal competition sponsored by the Florida Federation of Music Clubs. Other musical talents will also take place.

The concert will begin at 2:00 p.m. in the Stephen Foster Carillon Tower and there will be refreshments sponsored by the Stephen Foster Citizens Support Organization after the concert. 

​This program is free with paid park admission of $5.00 per car load up to 8 people.


Friday, January 23rd, February 27th, March 13th  2015 at 6:15p.m.

Come join a Park Ranger and Feathered Friends at the River Gazebo for an evening talk about owls!

Learn about owls native to Florida and those that live here at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park as well their special adaptations that help them to survive in the wild!

Then take a night time walk in the woods to see if we are able to call in any wild owls!

There is a $5.00 per car fee to enter the park but the program is free!

***We have a limited number of flashlights available that can be shared. If you prefer to have your own, you are welcome to bring one.

***Because there will be live owls at this event we ask that you please leave pets at home/camp.

Participation Requirements



Friday, Saturday & Sunday, February 13, 14 & 15, 2015. 
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park, Florida’s first state park, will commemorate the 151st anniversary of the Civil War and host the 39th Annual Reenactment of the Battle of Olustee. Throughout the weekend, more than 2,000 demonstrators will present living history impressions of military and civilian life at the time of Florida’s largest Civil War battle.

The Battle of Olustee was fought on February 20, 1864. Full-scale artillery, mounted cavalry and three African American regiments, took part in the battle that ended with 2,807 casualties and a Confederate victory. The 54th Massachusetts was among the African American troops that fought at Olustee.

The living history weekend features a Civil War-era battle reenactment on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., as well as the reenactment of the Battle of Olustee on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. 
 Period music concerts and crafts, lectures, battlefield surgical practices and the lives of both white and black civilians during the war will be portrayed by re-enactors. Military camps and drills by infantry and artillery are scheduled throughout the weekend. 
There will be color ceremonies, cavalry, authentic camps, exhibits, food and much more!

​On Friday, February 13, educational programs are planned for students. School groups may call (386) 397-7009(386) 397-7009 to register for the event. Food concessions will be available. Pets are not allowed at the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park during the reenactment.

The Olustee Battle Civil War Reenactment is sponsored by the Florida Park Service, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Olustee Battlefield Citizen Support Organization and The Blue Grey Army of Florida, Inc.

For more information on the Battle of Olustee, visit http://battleofolustee.org

​Participation Requirements
Presented by:
Big Shoals Public Lands
Park Rangers will be leading an educational/cleanup hike on the Big Shoals hiking trail. Join us as we explore the environment around you and help us keep our parks clean. The hike will begin at the Big Shoals parking lot.

Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park

 Thursday, Friday & Saturday, April 2, 3 & 4th, 2015. 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park will host the 27th Annual Antique Tractor and Engine Show on April 2, 3 and 4, 2015. Antique tractors and farming equipment reflecting 200 years of rural American history will be on display.

Demonstrating the craftsmanship and durability of American farm machinery, the show’s participants will operate working equipment and compete in tractor races. Visitors will be able to watch demonstrations of wheat threshing, shingle milling, corn grinding and unusual engines for everyday purposes. Exhibits will include collections of flywheels, hit and miss engines, water pumps, vintage pedal tractors, antique cars and farm equipment.

Competitions for adults will include tractor pulls, barrel races and a blind race. Children can participate in pedal-powered tractor races, an old-fashioned game of needle-in-a-haystack or a rooster-crowing contest.

Food concessions will include root beer floats, hamburgers and hot dogs, barbecue and kettle corn. On Saturday afternoon, an antique tractor parade will feature everything from customized lawn tractors to restored farm machinery.

Fees: Admission is $5.00 per vehicle with up to 8 passengers.

Contact: For more information, call 877-635-3655.

Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park

Kicks off Friday, March 20, 2015 and continues Saturday, March 21, 2015. 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  ~Festival features arts, crafts, wild azaleas, native plants and music~

Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, the Special Events Committee for the Town of White Springs and the White Springs Tourism Center will host the 15th Annual White Springs Wild Azalea Festival on Saturday, March 21, 2015.

Festival highlights include musical performances, arts and crafts, the Little Miss Azalea Contest, the Suwannee River Duck Race, Children’s Area and other outdoor recreational opportunities. Visitors can to spend the day enjoying this street crafts fair where expert artisans will display and sell their handmade specialties. “Wild Azaleas” are a highlight of this event and will be available for purchase along with other native Florida plants. Visitors can listen to the sounds of music as they stroll through historic downtown White Springs.

The Wild Azalea Festival kicks off Friday afternoon, March 20 with a guided hike along the Suwannee River to view the beautiful and aromatic wild azaleas growing along the river banks. For additional information about the wild azalea hike or to register please email specialeventsws@gmail.com

Fees: Admission to the event at the White Springs Tourism Center is free. 
Admission to Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park is $5.00 per vehicle, up to 8 passengers.

Contact: For more information, call 386-397-2310.



  ~ The Best of Florida Music, Arts & Culture ~

Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park invite you to the 63rd Annual Florida Folk Festival this Memorial Day Weekend, May 22-24, 2015 on the banks of the historic Suwannee River. The Festival has again been named a “Top 20 Event” in the Southeast! With the best of Florida’s music, arts and culture there is something for everyone. You’re sure to hear plenty of wonderful music, enjoy tasty food, join a jam session, take a workshop, do a little shopping and pay tribute to Florida’s land, people and diverse cultural heritage! In addition to a full schedule of performances, you’ll find plenty to amuse and educate.

Gates open at 8:00 a.m. and opening ceremonies will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 22nd, on the banks of the Suwannee River. Feature performers to be announced!

Folk artists and tradition-bearers presented each year in the Folklife Area reflect research and field documentation conducted by the Florida Department of State’s Folklife Program. The 2015 Folklife Area celebrates the diverse cultures of St. Johns County!

Since 1953, folk artists have come together for this event. One of the oldest state folk festivals in America will continue a grand tradition of celebrating Florida’s land, food, people and diverse cultural heritage. With more than 300 performances by Florida’s greatest folk and roots artists, including national recording artists, songwriters and musicians of swing, folk, blues, gospel, country, Latin, jazz, bluegrass, Caribbean and zydeco music, it is truly an event not to be missed.

Tickets on Sale soon! Buy in advance and save!

Advance tickets for the Florida Folk Festival are $25.00 per day or $50.00 for the weekend for adults and $30.00 per day or $60.00 for the weekend at the gate. Children under six years of age are admitted free of charge. Ticket prices for children between the ages of six and 16 for the entire weekend $5.00. Visit www.FloridaFolkFestival.com for more information.

The Florida Folk Festival is a rain or shine event! Gates open daily at 8 a.m. so come early to be sure you don’t miss any of the fun! Camping is not offered during the festival but do not worry there are plenty of places to camp in the area, including Suwannee River State Park, Oleno State Park, Ocean Pond and Spirit of the Suwannee to name a few. For a comprehensive list of local public and private campgrounds (27), cabins and motels (53) in Suwanee County, nearby Columbia County (Lake City) and Hamilton County (White Springs and Jasper), visit SuwanneeValley.org

Pets are not allowed at the Florida Folk Festival.

Personal golf carts are not allowed at the Florida Folk Festival.

For more information, please call 1-877-6FL-FOLK (1-877-635-3655) or www.FloridaFolkFestival.com.

Gates open daily at 8:00 a.m.

Contact: For more information, call 1-877-635-3655.