Winter Fest rings in the holiday season


Attendees of all ages wandered through downtown Tallahassee with excitement in their eyes during the Tallahassee Winter Festival on Saturday.

Sponsors ranged from health food to radio stations to bathroom renovators.

Kiersten Stewart, master stylist at So Pure Salon, explained the salon’s cause.

“We want to get our name out in the community,” Stewart said. “As we get our name out, we want to inform people that we are a full service spa. Today, we are offering a raffle for 50 percent off a cut and color as well as offering free chair massages and chakra balances.” 

Capital Health Plan, a health maintenance organization, was also represented among the vendors. The organization sponsored the 25th Annual Jingle Bell Run, a 3K run around downtown Tallahassee that welcomed runners of all ages. 

“We are here to promote eating healthy and living well,” said Polly White, senior vice president of marketing and administration for Capital Health Plan. “We just want to encourage everyone to get out there and exercise.” 

Exercise is exactly what attendees did. Throughout the festival, many people wore the Jingle Bell Run T-shirts that showed their participation. 

“I wanted to sign up for the race to have fun with my friends,” said Mohamed Maafa, a student at Florida State University.

Various activities for children included two bounce houses, a meet and greet with Santa Claus, children’s choruses and an arts and crafts table. 

Children were handed sandwich bags filled with beads, pipe cleaners and a picture-guided instruction pamphlet explaining how to make a reindeer. 

“I enjoy attending events like this and getting to meet all the families,” said Ayesha McCray, a Leon High School senior and recreational activities leader. 

Many festival attendees, such as Maya Ballaster, 6, and her sister Leyla Ballaster, 7, had  their faces painted by Fairy Dust Faces. The sisters chose to have butterflies painted on their faces.

Other attractions included interpretive dancing, a diverse arrangement of choruses, ballerinas and live bands. There was music, 


singing and dancing throughout the park. 

There was also ice skating at Kleman Plaza, which will remain open for ice skating until Jan. 6 for those looking for an inexpensive activity to do with friends or family. Admission is $6.

The nighttime parade was the main event of the Winter Festival. Sponsored by Capital City Cyclists, residents decorated their bicycles in lights and streamers and costumes. 

Santa was the parade’s finale. Children and adults watched in awe as the procession ran.