Balloon Rally, 1990 Falls Church area, Tallahassee. Photo: David McCord
community event began in 1968 to call attention to the beauty of
Florida's state capital. Throughout the history of Florida, the
idea to move the state capital from Tallahassee to another location
has surfaced several times, starting in the 1850s. The most recent
attempt was in 1967, when a bill was introduced in the state
legislature to move the capital to Orlando. Tallahassee community
leaders decided to hold a festival when Tallahassee's numerous
dogwood trees and azaleas, which surround nearly every building and
home, are in full bloom.
The first festival, held throughout the month of
March, was called "Springtime Tallahassee, A Capital Affair." Key
events of the festival took place during a one-week period, which
included a Parade of Governors and a Jubilee, attended by 12,000
people. The original pageant, which follows the parade has become a
large and varied collection of arts, crafts, and delicious food,
provided by more 200 vendors, and music performed on six stages.
The month long festival period provides local nonprofit
organizations and charities with opportunities to raise funds and
promote their causes. These includes walks and runs, and two-day
The Breakfast in the Park is traditionally the first
event of the festival season, held in conjunction with the start of
the Florida Legislative session, which brings the community and
state and local leaders out early for a southern-style breakfast.
Two gala balls are held during the festival, the Twelfth Night Ball
celebrates the victory of the Battle of New Orleans on January 8,
1851 with a candle lighting ceremony and the selection of an
honorary Andrew Jackson; at the Grand Ball senior "belles and
gents" are presented with their parents to honor their hard work
and dedication to service organizations.
The 2000 festival was coordinated by 500 volunteers
who are traditionally organized into five "krewes;" each
representing a different period of Florida history: Spanish,
American Territory, antebellum statehood, the Civil war and
reconstruction, and the 20th century. Each "krewe" builds a parade
float that is themed around an event that occurred during its
historical period. The "krewes" also appear in period costume at a
number of gala events during the festival.
Documentation includes a 22-page report, program
covers from various festivals, and photographs.
Originally submitted by: Allen Boyd, Representative (2nd District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.