Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. This Florida park, on the Suwannee River, honors one of America’s most influential composers. There is a museum here and a Carillon Tower.
The park has special events and festivals every month of the year. The Seminole Chikee Village area is a good place for exhibits.
A 200′ tall 97-bell Carillion Tower is the centerpiece of the park. They said this is the world’s largest tubular bell instrument in number of bells. Bell concerts can be heard four times a day as well as marking every hour.
Inside the tower is an interpretive exhibit showing the history of the tower and its construction in 1957. Also inside are some Stephen Foster exhibits including this 1854 style ball gown that was presented to the Stephen Foster Center in observance of the 100th anniversary of the copyrighting of “Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair”.
There are 10 dioramas in the The Stephen Foster Museum and the lower floor of the Carillion. Each one illustrates the words of some of Stephen Foster’s most popular songs. These were all painstakingly created by hand. Fourteen artists spent two years creating the first eight. They really are fabulous, some have animations.
Other dioramas include: “Oh, Susanna,” “My Old Kentucky Home,” “Old Black Joe,” “Old Folks at Home”, “Camptown Races”, and “Way Down Upon de Swanee Ribber.”
December is the Festival of Lights here in the park. Millions of lights are on display every night. The weekends include some special activities and family fun stuff.
Since we are already in the campground we can walk or drive around the loop to see all the lights for no additional fee.
When we first got here two days ago it was 80 degrees and raining so we didn’t get out much and were very thankful for air conditioning! Today was the beautiful day. Just in time, since tomorrow morning we move on.
This was the third time we have been to this park. You can see previous blogs if you just click here.
- Distance driven since last stop: 112 miles
- Lodging: $72.70 (three nights)
- Gasoline: $100 @ $2.07 Georgia
- Gasoline: $24 @ $2.29 Florida
We love it there and have camped there several times. Love their festival of lights!
This seems like a nice park. I don’t live too far from My Old Kentucky Home State Park in Kentucky. It’s definitely worth stopping by when in the Bluegrass State.
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I will keep that in mind the next time we go that way!