Word of South

The 2nd annual Word of South festival was held at Cascades Park on Friday, April 15.

What was originally launched in 2015 as a mixture of literature and music, returned for its second year with a musical performance by American folk-rock band Dawes and numerous of other artist.

The three-day celebration featured a blend of musicians and writers.

Mark Mustian, the founder of Word of South, wanted patrons to be able to experience all that Tallahassee has to offer.

“We are thrilled to bring so many artists together at Word of South,” said Mustian. “Our diverse lineup of performers makes the festival a family-friendly, cultural experience in a beautiful setting. We’re committed to making our event accessible to everyone, so almost all events are free.

Featured musicians included, The Bad Years, Donishisa Ballard, Blue Healer, Beverly Crawford and Sye Elaine Spence.

Spence expressed that she wanted the audience to “take in something natural and pure” in regards to her music.

“We want to experience a breath of fresh air with our music, for people to kind of exhale anything they have building up inside of them in terms of tension and just enjoy the performance,” said Spence.

Saturday featured environmental writer Leslie Poole, and musician Paul Garfinkel.

The pair performed their piece on issues with Florida water. Their performance featured Poole’s words and Garfinkel music and pictures for the audience to add visual quality.

Poole wanted people to know the importance of taking personal accountability of the resources afforded to us now, recognizing that our choices today affect our future.

“I want people to get a real sense of Florida, for them to know that we have a wonderful culture. People can come to this event and leave with a different viewpoint, maybe expand their minds,” said Pool

Vendors lined the streets with food trucks, a Boca Chuba Beer Stand and booksellers.

The festival also hosted a panel featuring the 2016 winners of the Florida Book awards. The panel was aligned with the fiction and poetry winners: Gracie Chandler, Brandi George, Bruce Thomason, Donald Morrill and Katherine Clark.

The panel was moderated by Mary Jane Ryals, author of Cookie & Me.

The 2016 Florida Book award winners, Diane Ochitree, Patrick Kendrick, Susan Cerulean, Andres Andreu and Tameka Hobbs held another panel moderated by author and historian, Wayne Wiegand.

Saturday and Sunday, children festivities were held at the Story Fort sponsored by Florida Blue. Festivities included animal poems and scavenger hunts.