Article excerpt from the The Valdosta Daily Times by Dean Poling, March 25, 2002.
“As chairman of the festival that year, Shelley Zorn and I travelled to Valdosta to meet with Mr. Coleman. When seeing the quality and artistic talent in his other sculptures we knew he was the man for the job. He told us he gave up a law career to pursue his sculpting. He had such passion in his work. I remember him saying he wanted to do something like a gas cylinder for the head, using the symbolism of a fire ant sting, and the ice tongs, like pincers. And that he did! Everything was so well thought out and symbolic. Mr. Coleman was a true artist!”
Sue Mastrario, Chairman of the 2002 Fire Ant Festival
Wilby Coleman passed away July 2021. To read his obituary, click here.
The ant is currently located at the Ashburn-Turner County Chamber of Commerce (238 E College Avenue, Ashburn, GA) and is outside for anyone who wants to get a unique photo opportunity!
FREE ADMISSION TO THE FIRE ANT FESTIVAL!
Held the fourth weekend of March, small town Ashburn welcomes visitors to the Fire Ant Festival, but not the ants themselves. Known for its wacky and off the wall activities, the festival offers family oriented fun for all ages. Activities include the fire ant calling contest, the giant fire ant maze, carnival, arts and crafts, fireworks, bands, 5K run and 1 mile fun run, BBQ cook off, and much more!