Food, games, prizes; the typical festival, right? Well, nestled in the shade of pine trees is a celebration a little more substantial. It’s the annual Forest Festival.
Perry native Russ Knight said, “It means a lot to Taylor County. We have a number of businesses that employee quite a few people and we appreciate that."
The festival attracts about 20,000 people each year, and Perry natives say it's a tradition they "wood" not miss.
“It was the Pine Tree Festival when it first started then it became the Florida Forest Festival to celebrate the industry all over the state," added lifelong resident, Catherine Redding.
Visitors and residents alike didn't just come to celebrate the forestry industry. Through demonstrations on equipment like a sawmill, they also got to see how things work.
Mike Farr with the Wood Mizer Company said, “You can load the log, clamp it and we just made a few cuts with this mill and we've rotated a log and getting ready to cut again."
President of the Perry Chamber of Commerce, David Taylor, added, “It's important to the forestry industry and the community as a whole. It's really good for tourism, it brings people and lets us showcase what a wonderful community we have."
It’s a community that's proud to be hosting an event that gets better every year and embodies an industry deep rooted in the area. Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the festival.