Suwannee River Chamber of Commerce News

Last night around 8:30 a car belonging to a tenant at a local home accidentally backed into the canal off 195th street. Car didn’t go completely into the water. Car was pulled out by a suwannee homeowner with no damage to the car.
Posted on 07 Mar 2023
BBQ aficionados gathered early at the Suwannee Community Center on Saturday, October 22 to set up cookers in preparation for competing in the annual cook-off that raises monies for the Suwannee River Chamber Scholarship Fund.

Pulled pork dinners were also served in the evening as part of the fundraising event. The monies from the cook-off fund an annual scholarship award to one or more outstanding Suwannee graduates with a focus on assisting these students start technical and other careers.

The competition was divided into three categories: ribs, chicken, and Boston butts.

The winners were:

1st place - Willie's Backyard BBQ (Nathon Oliver)
2nd place - Clint Beauchamp
3rd place - Jerry Everett

1st place - Jerry Everett
2nd place - You Just Got Smoked (Chris Schrader)
3rd place - Willie's Backyard BBQ (Nathon Oliver)

Boston Butts
1st place - Willie's Backyard BBQ (Nathon Oliver)
2nd place - You Just Got Smoked (Chris Schrader)
3rd pace - Bobby Sealey

Congratulation to all winners! See you next year!

Posted on 04 Nov 2022
The Suwannee River Chamber website now has a separate events page in addition to the home page calendar. To navigate to the new page, look for the Events tab in the orange bar near the top of the screen. Important local and area events such as festivals will be listed near the top of the Events page above the monthly calendar. The calendar is where you can find regular items such as Chamber and Water Board meetings.

This page is a great resource if you need to check on upcoming Suwannee event dates, such as the next Chamber of Commerce meeting which returns Thursday, August 26 at 6 PM, after a one-month summer break.

Posted on 17 Aug 2021
Suwannee's annual Fireworks celebration is scheduled for Saturday, July 3, 2021. The fireworks display will be at dark and should be visible from most places in Suwannee, as well as from the water.

Earlier in the evening, at 5 PM, the much-anticipated golf cart parade will leave from the old Suwannee water tower. Parade entrants can begin lining up at 4:15 PM. After paying a small entry fee of $5, each vehicle will be given a number. Please note that cars and motorcycles are not allowed to take part in the parade this year and each vehicle must have a steering wheel (in other words no ATVs with handlebars).

The parade will turn right onto highway 349 and travel a route that covers several roads in Suwannee, ending up at Salt Creek Restaurant where prize-giving takes place at approximately 6 PM.

Don't forget the Reverse Drawing in support of the Fireworks on Saturday, June 26 at 7 PM at Marker 29 on the Salt Creek Restaurant deck!

Posted on 23 Jun 2021

Suwannee Fireworks hats go on sale for $20.00 each at the Luau on May 29 (Marker 29), the Island Poker Run on June 5 (check-in at Marker 29), and the Reverse Draw on June 26, the Saturday night before the Fireworks, also at Marker 29.

The proceeds from the sale of each hat helps support the annual Suwannee Fireworks, the community's most popular event.

For more information on these events or the hats, contact Ann Rodgers at 229-300-5763.

Posted on 28 May 2021
Ginger Shealy (pictured at center above) was presented with a plaque of appreciation for her support of the Dixie Education Foundation Tuition Assistance Program by Foundation Treasurer Chris Barber (at right) and President Carol West (at left). The program provides tuition assistance to Dixie graduates pursuing certification in a variety of fields such as welding, law enforcement, electrical, cosmetology, and more. Visit the Foundation website at for information.
Posted on 26 May 2021
The Suwannee River Chamber of Commerce BBQ Cook-Off and dinner, held Saturday, March 27, was a sold out event with over 100 dinners and 26 whole Boston butts sold.

Suwannee Chamber President Owen Prince and crew busy cooking some great BBQ to feed everyone

The 1st place winners were: Arnold Dees (Boston Butt) Jerry Everett (Chicken) and Dave Ware Team (ribs). Second place winners also received a trophy plus $50, and 3rd place winners were awarded a trophy.

1st Place Winners (left to right) Team Ware, ribs; Arnold Dees, butts; and Jerry Everett, chicken

Congratulations to all winners and thanks for your generous donations of your winnings to the Tyler Hunt Benefit. Gun raffle tickets are still available and the drawing will be April 24th at the Cross City Airport Fly-In and Expo (free event with aircraft, food, music, crafts and more).

All proceeds from this event go to support the Suwannee River Chamber Scholarship Fund and other initiatives. A heartfelt thanks to all who volunteered and those who attended.

Posted on 01 Apr 2021
On January 30 the Suwannee Fireworks Committee hosted its annual Chili Cook-off.

This favorite event is the kick-off fundraiser each year in support of the July fireworks. The annual fireworks, the biggest and best-attended event in Suwannee, is supported throughout the year through fundraising efforts by a dedicated group of volunteers who host events such as the Cook-off.

This year's winners were:

3rd. Jim Miller and Charles and Traci Corbett
2nd Stacy Beauchamp
1st. Sherry Font

Posted on 11 Feb 2021
Longtime Suwannee resident Shyril Norris was awarded the 2020 Eric "Eck" Bass Community Service award at the Suwannee River Chamber Annual Meeting on January 26. At the evening event, held at the Suwannee Community Center, Chamber president Owen Prince addressed the 40 attendees who had gathered to enjoy a covered dish dinner and witness the annual selection of Chamber officers and directors, and presentation of awards.

In making the presentation Prince said, "Shyril has worked tirelessly for years with cake auctions, reverse ticket drawings, and chili cooks off to raise funds for the Suwannee fireworks. Her long-term commitment to the Suwannee community is appreciated by all who have worked with her and benefited from her efforts."

Shyril joins a long list of Suwannee residents who have received the prestigious award. Her name has been added to the plaque which hangs in the Suwannee Community Center. Hers is the 22nd name to be displayed. The award was created to honor the years of community service by Eric "Eck" Odlund Bass, who was born on Odlund’s Island near the mouth of the Suwannee River, where her parents had settled around 1910.

Prince also presented a special "President's Award" to Lisa Waltrip for her work with the Chamber.

Posted on 28 Jan 2021
Posted on 07 Jan 2021
Posted on 04 Jun 2020
Posted on 18 Feb 2020
One of the highlights of the Suwannee River Chamber’s Annual Meeting each January, is naming the recipient of the annual Eric "Eck" Bass Community Service Award.

This award, created in remembrance of Eric "Eck" Odlund Bass was first awarded in January 1999. Since then a deserving member of the community has been named nearly every year. In keeping with this annual tradition for this year’s meeting, held Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at the Suwannee Community Center, resident Mary Haufler was named as the recipient of the latest Eric "Eck" Bass Community Service Award.

Mary Haufler receives the Eric "ECK" Bass Community Service Award from Suwannee River Chamber of Commerce president Owen Prince on January 28, 2020

"The 'Eck’ Bass award is not big on strict, written rules or guidelines, but is instead big on heart," Chamber president Owen Prince said during his opening comments before making the award. He then went on to speak about Eric "Eck" Odlund Bass herself, who was born on Odlund’s Island where her parents had settled around 1910, and the reasons for having a community service award in her name. "She was a true Suwannee native who raised her family here, and served others through her care and concern," he said. He added that she also served as a founding director of the Suwannee Water Board and only retired when her health began to fail, after over thirty years of service on the board.

"Mrs. Eck had one of the 'greenest thumbs’ and always had time to listen to others’ problems," Prince added. "She was a wonderful example of a good citizen, mother and friend. The annual award is given by the Chamber to a Suwannee citizen who exemplifies her example."

In presenting the new award he said, "Mary Haufler is a perfect example of an individual exhibiting the qualities of the Eck Bass award. For years she has been a friend, mother, and confidant to many of the residents and friends of Suwannee. She started and maintains the 'boats’ of plants and flowers that decorate the entrance to town. Mary is truly a friend of Suwannee."

A plaque with the names of each recipient of the award is displayed in the Suwannee Community Center on the inside wall nearest the main entrance. Mary’s name is the 21st to be added.

Posted on 05 Feb 2020
Posted on 21 Jan 2020
Posted on 16 Jan 2020
The Suwannee River Chamber of Commerce will hold its Annual Meeting and covered dish meal on Tuesday, January 28 at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Suwannee Community Center. Everyone is welcome to attend the event. The annual ECK Bass Award will also be announced during the meeting. Suwannee River Chamber was formed in 1994 and will enter its 26th year in January.
Posted on 04 Dec 2019
Vendors may now sign up for the Lower Suwannee Art & Nature Festival (previously known as the Suwannee Spring Art Festival) which will take place Saturday, March 14, 2020 from 10-3, Glen Dyals Park, 21354 SE 349 Hwy, Suwannee, FL 32692.

The festival is organized by Suwannee Library Technical Center, part of Dixie County Public Library, and is also supported by a number of local organizations.

We are actively looking for more artists, crafters, nature-based businesses and local food vendors. Non-profit vendors may also apply. Booths are only $25.00 for each 10 x 10 space. Those signing up before December 1, 2019 may choose their space from those remaining on the festival location map, which you can view at Suwannee Library.

For vendor applications or general information, contact Jane Connors at [email protected], or call 352-542-8320. Suwannee Library Technical Center is open Tuesday and Thursday 10-5, Wednesday and Friday noon-5 and Saturday 9-1.

Posted on 15 Oct 2019

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