Tifton, Georgia, was once a beautiful town that had many attractions that kept people, young and old, appeased and content. Today, the only way any body can find some form of entertainment is to drive a few minutes into the next county or Valdosta.
This is because Tifton at some point in the early 2000's decided that the only way it can surpass their neighboring counties and increase their revenue is to install strings of fast food restaurants and neglect other attractions. Due to this, the spirit of Tifton has withered away over the years and regardless of what many would think, most will agree Tifton is in need of an upgrade more than ever.
Even though Tifton is categorized as a "small town", that doesn't mean it shouldn't have something that gives it the energy that makes up for it. Most small towns actually are enjoyable to live and people won't have any trouble trying to find things to do.
People do argue that there is entertainment in Tifton, but it's usually because of ABAC and Tift County High School hosted events, basically making the college the primary facility keeping Tifton together.
Wouldn't it be nice that have something that is of Tifton's for once? Something that Tifton will be noted for and will be THE place to go for such activity. Valdosta is known for the amusement park Wild Adventures, Albany with the Flint River Aquarium and Fitzgerald for its feral, legally protected chickens. Tifton, however, is just known by locals for the school football games, and everywhere else for the college.
Since Tifton is home for ABAC students, then that should be a good focus group to ask about entertainment or even financial ideas. One student, and a fellow Stallion Journalist, name Jo-Leigh Warren said, "Tifton really needs to upgrade the theater and bowling alley. Make them better and more enjoyable for everyone to go and hang out."
Another student, Tyler Gomez, said, "It would be great if they could fix up the Mall. Put more stores, arcades, or a paintball arena in it!"
Even the high school students would like to see some improvement. Tyler Barber, a senior, suggests, "We need a fun center for the teens and young adults can go and hang out, play games, etc."
It's not just the young adults, but even some of the older citizens would like something to do. Mary Geiger suggests,"Tifton needs a new Senior Center for us, more festivals that actually have stuff like games or more entertainment that's suitable for everyone."
Another person in their late twenties, Scott Hogan, adds, "We need more bars here."
There's no doubt that Tifton is growing and there are many successful chains of restaurants and stores, but it doesn't matter how big the town is, if it isn't interesting to anyone, then it is a ghost town.
The council of Tifton need to focus their money on making Tifton the city to socialize! Fix up some of these old buildings and reuse them for everyone's benefits.
No, not tearing them down and putting another Waffle House, but a place where people can come together and be human. Enjoy each other's company, play together, laugh together, unite this huge, small town, and places where friends, new or old, can be found and business transactions can take place.
There is so much Tifton can do but it seems no one has their eyes and minds open to new ideas and opportunities.
If not then at least do something to where Tifton can show off its rural beauty to everyone. The woods, the fields, the parks, use the region to this advantage. The christmas light shows that are in FullWood Park are beautiful, but there could be more done with that. However, that's a great example of using "natural" geography as an attraction.
Another note to add is that the Christmas parades need to vary out with their floats, like it seems like every other float is the same. There is so much Tifton could do; if the city of Tifton truly wishes to improve the county, then invest in attractions, entertainment, anything to bring back the spirit and pride of Tift County, Georgia.