In 2004, after much discussion, Mayor Jimmie Scott and City Clerk Lisa Harley decided to organize an event to bring the community together to enjoy a day of family fun. They met with Ms. Kathy Lehman, of Gainesville, and came up with a plan to hold a Community wide Festival. They contacted several other interested citizens, thus, the birth of the Lawtey Trail Ridge Festival Organization.
At that time, a group of Bicyclists from Nassau County planned a trip to commemorate the Historic Yulee Railroad which extended from Fernandina Beach to Cedar Key, Florida. The Riders would be traveling south on U. S. Highway 301 and pass through Lawtey on Saturday, June 5, 2004. Therefore, it was decided to hold the first Festival – “The Lawtey Trail Ridge Festival” – on that date. The riders were invited to stop in Lawtey for ‘a break’ at the FIRST Festival. When they made the stop, they were met by the press and a crowd of well wishers. The TRFO welcomed the riders, provided refreshments and photo ops on that hot day and they continued their journey.
Each year, the E. I. DuPont Mining Company has been a major Sponsor of The Festival and has maintained a long time presence in the Lawtey area mining heavy mineral sands along the Geological Trail Ridge, which runs through the area. Therefore, the name of the Organization and the name of the Festival included Trail Ridge. As a good neighbor, DuPont has employed generations of local citizens, supported many aspects of the area, including Education, businesses, charities and so forth.
In 2017, the name of the Trail Ridge Festival was changed to the Lawtey Spring Festival sponsored by the Lawtey Trail Ridge Festival Organization. The motto remains “It’s All About Fun With Family and Friends”. The day is filled with an array of family activities including; Arts and Crafts Vendors, Food Vendors, Little Miss and Little Mr. Pageant, Car Show, Country Cooking Contest, Sweets Auction, Pie Eating Contest, Entertainment, Children’s Activities such as Bounce Houses, Slides, Train Ride, Laser Tag and much more.
Current sponsors include The Chemours Co., Mittauer & Associates, Inc., Tatum Bros. Lumber, Jackson’s Building Supply, Bradford Co. Sheriff’s Dept. and Mosley Tire.
Come enjoy a day of fun with family and friends!