1. Trouble logging in? Send a message with your username & email address for help.
    Dismiss Notice

Lake DeFuniak Holiday Lights

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by Rita, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. Rita

    Rita margarita brocolia

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Messages:
    5,184
    Likes Received:
    739
    Location:
    Dune Allen Beach
    Donna posted this in another thread:

    "For those who love "the illuminations," as my little grandmother used to call holiday lights, the lakeyard park around perfectly round Lake DeFuniak will be outfitted with over 3 million lights, most of which reflect in the Lake. The anttebellum homes around the lake are also beautifully decorated. Well worth a short trip "to town" for those of you living at or visiting South Walton beaches. ...."

    Donna,
    I mentioned wanting to see Lake DeFuniak to my husband and he said several years back he toured the Lake discovering that it is so perfectly round because it was formed by a sink hole. Also there was a "stage area" on the west side of the lake that was used by Chatauqua group to bring cultural entertainment to the area. Anyone know if it is still used like that?
     
  2. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Messages:
    7,144
    Likes Received:
    3,713
    Location:
    SoWal
    http://www.florida-chautauqua-center.org
     
  3. Rita

    Rita margarita brocolia

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Messages:
    5,184
    Likes Received:
    739
    Location:
    Dune Allen Beach
  4. DBOldford

    DBOldford Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Messages:
    990
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Napa Valley, CA
    First on the sinkhole theory, which is correct. Some of the oldtimers used to tell the story of Lake DeFuniak being formed when a (presumably perfectly round) meteorite slammed into the area. They also maintained that "they never have found the bottom to that thing," and told stories about a local man who drowned while fishing in the lake, only to turn up floating in Back Lake, which is five miles outside town via Old Highway 90.

    Local kids once swam in Lake DeFuniak, which was closed to swimming when high levels of bacteria were found in the Lake, an incident that strangely coincided with black youth also wishing to swim in the Lake. (Not long afterwards, the town's only public swimming pool was also closed because black children wanted to swim there.) These events are obviously a shameful chapter in the town's history. But I digress...they are doing fine now, I think, on racial issues. Probably much better than, say South Boston.

    The lake is a sinkhole that is fed by a natural spring. It is deep, but not bottomless. No one knows why ____ was found in Back Lake, when he went fishing on Lake DeFuniak. I would guess there is an answer to that mystery which has nothing to do with hydrology, but we will never know.

    The Chatauqua was a Methodist-sponsored cultural program that had its roots in upstate New York and northern Michigan. There were outposts established in several areas, DeFuniak Springs being one of them. The old Chatauqua Building remained in a state of disrepair for many years, with discussions focused on demolition, until they received a grant to rehabilitate it. Now it is used for programs such as the one on the Web site, among other things. We used to have the annual Halloween Carnival there. It served as a local rollerskating rink for a very short time. And the Eastern Star and Railbow Girls organizations met there. I once spent the night on the little balcony that goes around the rotunda, as we had a pajama party there.

    The "illuminations" around Lake DeFuniak are something different. The lights are turned on the evening of the day following Thanksgiving. Drivers are charged $5 (I think) as a donation if you want to drive instead of walking around the lake, which is exactly one mile in circumference. It is a lovely walk that you can take through the Lakeyard, but lovelier yet on the sidewalk of Circle Drive, where you can see the beautifully decorated antebellum homes and all the reflections of some 3 million lights in the lake. There are all kinds of holiday scenes depicted.

    People come from miles around. You could look it up!
     
  5. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Messages:
    27,017
    Likes Received:
    1,117
    Rita...thank you so much for asking another historical question to Donna! Donna, you must write a book! Actually, we have a good group of writers here that could collaborate with you! I love reading your memories of growing up in Walton County!
     
  6. peapod1980

    peapod1980 percy

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,591
    Likes Received:
    86
    Location:
    Up the hill from the Gateway Arch
    :clap_1: So excited--I'll get to do this next month!
     
  7. Rita

    Rita margarita brocolia

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Messages:
    5,184
    Likes Received:
    739
    Location:
    Dune Allen Beach
    Donna,

    Thank you so much. I'm passing this on to a family member (history buff) who will be joining us at the beach. This will just get them even more excited.
     
  8. Rita

    Rita margarita brocolia

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Messages:
    5,184
    Likes Received:
    739
    Location:
    Dune Allen Beach
    We walked around the lake, saw the "illuminations", admired the antebellum homes, and took lots of pictures. What a fun evening!

    ? Is the Whistle Stop Cafe in DeFuniak Springs the same one that was in "Fried Green Tomatoes"?
    We just watched that movie the other night.
     
  9. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Messages:
    27,017
    Likes Received:
    1,117
    Rita....sounds like a very grand trip!!! How long were you there?
     
  10. Mermaid

    Mermaid picky

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    7,871
    Likes Received:
    335
  11. Jennifer Steele

    Jennifer Steele Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,472
    Likes Received:
    212
    Location:
    2282 Scenic 30A West
    The Whistle Stop Cafe from the movie is in Juliette, Georgia.
    http://www.juliettega.com/
     
  12. CastlesOfSand

    CastlesOfSand Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,486
    Likes Received:
    22
    Glad you had a good trip Rita!
     
  13. Ocean Lover

    Ocean Lover bean

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Messages:
    9,495
    Likes Received:
    159
    Location:
    Buckeye Country
    L-U-C-K-Y!
     
  14. Rita

    Rita margarita brocolia

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Messages:
    5,184
    Likes Received:
    739
    Location:
    Dune Allen Beach
    Thanks,
    Someone in our party thought it was the DeFuniak one. I sent them the website. We didn't even see the Cafe in DF - not sure there still is one there.
     
  15. Rudyjohn

    Rudyjohn SoWal Insider

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Messages:
    7,744
    Likes Received:
    233
    Location:
    Chicago Area
    I'm really searching waaaaaaay back to my youth, but if I remember correctly, there was an Italian restaurant in DeFuniak that our family used to go to called, "Mom and Dads." Does that ring a bell, Donna? It's been so long ago, it's almost like a dream to me.
     
  16. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Messages:
    7,144
    Likes Received:
    3,713
    Location:
    SoWal
    It's still there and soon to be visited by me and other lightlookers.
     
  17. JEANNE

    JEANNE Beach Comber

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    TALLAHASSEE/GRAYTON
    That was the first Mom and Dad's Restaurant! I started going there when I was just a little girl (probably around 4). The family soon afterward opened another Mom and Dad's in Tallahassee, been there around 40 yrs and also have a 3rd one in Thomasville, Ga. One of the brother's, Nino, branched off and opened a restarurant not far from the Mom and Dad's in Tallahassee, called Nino's. They all have the best Italian food I have ever eaten. The clan came over from Italy. Unfortunately the matriarch of the family just passed away soon after her 100th birthday in Italy.
     
  18. Rudyjohn

    Rudyjohn SoWal Insider

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Messages:
    7,744
    Likes Received:
    233
    Location:
    Chicago Area
    Thanks to you both on the Mom and Dad's update! Wow, that was over 40 years ago when we went, and even then, I remember it being some of the very best Italian I'd ever eaten! It wasn't fancy at all, very much a mom and pop restaurant! Thanks for helping me relive some good childhood memories!
     
  19. Camp Creek Kid

    Camp Creek Kid Christini Zambini

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,263
    Likes Received:
    106
    Location:
    Seacrest Beach
    Kurt,

    Where is Mom and Dad's? I'd like to try it this weekend.
     
  20. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Messages:
    7,144
    Likes Received:
    3,713
    Location:
    SoWal
    MOM & DAD'S ITALIAN RESTAURANT
    2184 US HIGHWAY 90 WEST
    892-5812


    Take a left from 331 and it's a ways down on the north side.


     

Share This Page