Spring is in the air and on stage

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(Photo: D.A. Robin/Special to the Democrat)

March 31, 2016
TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT
Bryan Desloge,
My View

 
I am not shy about my passion for the outdoors. When it comes to hiking, running, cycling or paddling in Leon County, count me in. Few places offer more scenic and fulfilling outdoor experiences. But spring festival season adds another level of outdoor fun, so be an ambassador and invite friends and relatives to enjoy it with you.

Floridians brag about glorious weather, especially during the winter. Florida tourism promoters even call the winter “bragging season,” showcasing photos of sunny landscapes, palm trees and tropical drinks to northern neighbors who suffer with piles of snow and gloomy days. We have our own “bragging season” – it’s spring and there’s nothing quite like it anywhere in Florida.

Spring brings more than a cascade of color to our landscape. The Leon County Division of Tourism Development (Visit Tallahassee) calls it “Spring On Stage.” In additional to promotions, Leon County tourism invests in the success of major events and the well-being of arts and culture overall. “Spring On Stage” is a three-month schedule of grand festivals, celebrations and concerts that offer everything from entertainment to inspiration and reflection.

Festivities started with an international sporting event, the Red Hills Horse Trials, at Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park. For years, the Red Hills Horse Trials have been as much a sure sign of spring here as the appearance of redbud blooms.

Springtime Tallahassee, one of the Southeast’s largest seasonal celebrations, makes a grand entry April 1 with its music festival at The Moon, which is located at 1105 E Lafayette St., and free concert by Josh Turner. April 2 brings the Grand Parade on Monroe Street, Jubilee in the Park and the Children’s Park. It also launches Tallahassee Music Week.

The April 8-10 Word of South Festival celebrates music and literature. It marks the continued emergence of Cascades Park as a cultural and arts focal point. In addition to literary discussions, book readings and a children’s program, musical performances include concerts at Capital City Amphitheater by Dawes on April 8 and Grammy Award winner Jason Isbell on April 9.

Recording artist Boz Scaggs performs in the Amphitheater on April 22, the Tallahassee Symphony showcases “Pops in the Park” on April 23, R&B artist Tank highlights graduation weekend on April 29 and one of the biggest names in rock history, Peter Frampton, performs here on May 28. Few things compare to an evening concert in Capital City Amphitheater with music, great weather and dining under the stars. Get your tickets soon for concerts at CapitalCityAmphitheater.com .

Cascades Park shines again April 14-17 as the Southern Shakespeare Festival presents a unique performance of “The Comedy of Errors.” Meanwhile, more than 150 artisans fill the downtown parks with their creative works during the April 14-16 LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival.

Fans may miss FSU’s spring football game here this year, but the sports schedule remains impressive. Rising young talent compete at the Tallahassee Tottenham Hotspur Football Club – Florida State Soccer Invitational April 9-10 and ranked players compete at the April 23-30 USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger.

There is also the Atlantic Coast Conference Track and Field Championships May 12-14 and throughout the spring, there’s always a relaxing afternoon or evening watching college baseball.

May 20 brings the annual re-enactment and celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation at the Knott House Museum, where the document was first read in Florida in 1865.

Leon County tourism is part of our economic development strategy, creating local jobs and infusing money into our economy from visitors. So invite your friends and relatives and get outside and enjoy our “bragging season.”

When you brag a little on social media, tag your photos with #IHeartTally and share Leon County with others around the world. You can always find more events, activities and outdoor ideas at VisitTallahassee.com.

Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge has served the citizens of District 4 since 2006. He can be reached at 850-606-5300 or DeslogeB@LeonCountyFL.gov.