Winter Festival lights up downtown Tallahassee

Thousands turned out this past Saturday for the Winter Festival, a spectacle of lights in downtown Tallahassee.
Photo special to the Outlook



By Daria Laycock
Outlook writer

His toddler son isn’t old enough yet to quite understand what all the hubbub was about in downtown Tallahassee on Saturday night.

The lights and sounds were enough to grab Stephan Johnson’s son’s attention, though, at the city’s annual Winter Festival.
“Little man is just three,” Johnson said. “He doesn’t really know about Christmas yet so I have to teach him. I show him all the movies, we decorated the tree (and) now we’re out here so he can get a look at the lights.”
Johnson and his family were among the more than 100,000 people who showed up for the Christmas celebration, despite unseasonably warmtemperatures. Santa and all the traditional Christmas activities were more than enough to create a feeling of the holiday.

The festivities began at mid-afternoon with entertainment on five stages scattered around downtown. Children had a “Candy Cane Lane” to stroll through at McCarty Park.

Later in the evening, someone flipped the switch for the lighting ceremony and not long after runners set out for the popular Jingle Bell Run.

A parade capped off the night.

While the activities are popular, the big attention-grabber was the lights as the parade moved through Monroe Street. Floats boasting thousands of lights lined the streets.

TCC student, Will Brinson, enjoyed the spectacle of lights.

“I’m from Broward. I just go to school up here,” he said. “When you’re far from home it’s hard to feel the Christmas spirit for sure but things like this helps.”

During the next few weeks, downtown visitors could enjoy the lights and a tour of the Candy Cane Lane.