State’s capital celebrates Springtime Tallahassee

The intersection of Adams Street and College Avenue, the heart of last weekend's festival.
Photo Submitted by Chris Johnson.

The 51st annual Springtime Tallahassee festival took place last weekend, featuring two days of music and vendors spread across the downtown area of Florida’s capital.

Events for this year’s festival kicked off Friday morning, when the construction of the stage to be used later that night caused a portion of Duval Street between Madison and Pensacola streets to be closed for the day.  With two of the city’s biggest attractions, the Capitol building and Florida Supreme Court, falling within range of the street closure, traffic delays were plentiful Friday morning well into the afternoon.

The first day of the festival officially began at 6 p.m. Friday with a music festival in Kleman Plaza. The main attraction of the festival was country singer and songwriter Chris Janson of Warner Music Group, described on the Springtime Tallahassee website as “a platinum-selling, high-octane entertainer” and “multi-instrumentalist.” The opening acts for Janson were country artist Chris Reeve and Tallahassee's own Highway 85.

A multitude of vendors were in attendance for the music festival, including the Bud Light Beer Garden, which was a bar-like area near the stage where patrons could purchase Pepsi products and alcoholic beverages. The events of the first day of the festival concluded around 11 p.m. Friday.

Day two of Springtime Tallahassee began bright and early Saturday morning, with registration for the various Springtime running events opening at 6:30 a.m. in front of the Leon County Courthouse, where the races would begin.

The Springtime One Mile Race began at 7:45 and was won by 10-year-old Tallahassee resident Randy Manausa, who completed his run in 5:44. The Springtime 5k/10k began at 8:10 and had 620 and 792 participants, respectively. Jake Poore, 23, took the crown in the 5k with a time of 17:29 and 26-year-old Christopher Haynes came out atop the runners in the 10k with a time of 32:38.

Following the races was the Springtime Tallahassee parade, which began at 10:30 a.m., featuring Tallahassee Community College’s Capital City Band and over 100 different floats. The grand marshals for the 2019 parade were former Florida State athletes Kez McCorvey and Charlie Ward, a former two-sport (football and basketball) star and Heisman trophy winner.

After the parade came the “jubilee” in the park, which included two different stages for performances and showcased over 200 different vendors from around the country. The music stage was located at the corner of Jefferson and Adams streets and featured live musical performances from noon until 5 p.m. The community stage was in the middle of McCarthy Park and featured acts from local dance and performance arts teams.  The vendors were spread across Adams Street, Duval Street, Park Avenue and College Avenue.

According to its website, Springtime Tallahassee is “a civic organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Tallahassee's history.” The Springtime Tallahassee festival came to be in the late 1960s, when legislators suggested moving the capital of the Sunshine State to Orlando. To dissuade the legislators, local business owners organized a festival for the following spring to showcase the beauty of Tallahassee.