Mayor Gillum, Residents Show Pride in Festive Celebration of All-America Status at Cascades Park
By Janelle Floyd
Government officials threw a festive thank-you party that Mayor Andrew Gillum has been waiting for since Tallahassee was recognized as an All-America city a month ago.
An estimated 300 residents showed up at Cascades Park to celebrate this past Saturday.
“We’ve been bottling up this energy for weeks,” said Gillum, who was joined on stage by city commissioners, community leaders and local residents. “The folks on this stage did an amazing job representing the best of what Tallahassee is.”
Last month, the National Civic League recognized Tallahassee as an All-American city along with nine other entries from a field of 100. It was the second time Tallahassee has won this designation.
The top cities were chosen based on each of their presentation of three projects illustrating its civic process.
Tallahassee celebrated big. A local band took the stage at Cascades’ amphitheater, entertaining the crowd. The crowd also was treated to free hot dogs, watermelon and lemonade.
Coman Leonard, a 20-year Tallahassee resident, enjoyed every moment of the occasion.
“I came to celebrate this event because I wanted to show the city my support,” said Leonard, a FSU professor. “Tallahassee is one of the greatest cities and I’m glad others are finally taking notice.”
Especially the AAC, which gave Tallahassee the nod. The organization’s judges during Tallahassee’s presentation in Denver, Col., were impressed with the mention of Cascades Park.
Tallahassee representatives also made a point of emphasizing the city’s Neighborhood REACH program, which provides waterproof homes to low income residents and reduces utility bills. They also mentioned other quality of life events in the city.
“This is one of the highest honors that a city can achieve and we achieved it again,” said City Manager Anita Thompson. “It’s all about the people, that makes it even more exciting.
“You cannot get named an All-American City unless you have a city that is engaged in every level; from the business community to the religious community to the non-profit community and government.”