by Eric Barton | March 10, 2022

A Beautiful Buzz: Springtime in Tallahassee

With the weather still cool and full of sun, Florida’s capital blossoms with an inspiring lineup of citywide festivals

Tallahassee’s social calendar fills up with concerts, festivals and sporting events when springtime rolls around.

There are certain things you can count on when spring arrives in Tallahassee: the aroma of azaleas enveloping the entire city, 700 miles of hiking and biking trails dancing with new growth and birdsong, and on the weekends, a festival (sometimes two) of every variety unfolding.

Starting in March, Florida’s capital blossoms with an inspiring lineup of mostly free-to-the public events from stadium concerts to neighborhood fetes. Some roll out as grand affairs, beating to the rhythms of national recording acts, while others hum more quietly under the oak trees in honor of historical milestones.

“No place in Florida does spring like Tallahassee,” says Katie Kole, senior marketing director for Visit Tallahassee. “Every weekend there’s a large-scale spring event, and we’ve also got cool, crisp mornings, sunshine, and so many flowers—it’s like the entire city is in bloom.”

Top equestrians from around the world compete in dressage, cross country and stadium jumping at the Red Hills International Horse Trials.

To kick things off, the Red Hills International Horse Trials, takes place March 10-13. This Olympic qualifier attracts top equestrians from around the world to compete at Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park. Each day is dedicated to three areas of expertise: dressage, cross country and stadium jumping. There’s food and drink, and Kole says it’s an exciting spectator sport easy to follow even for those new to horse shows.

On April 1-2, the iconic Springtime Tallahassee transforms downtown with marquee celebrations, including the free Springtime Tallahassee Music Festival headlined by Lee Brice, a children’s park and the all-day Grand Parade rolling with Mardi Gras-style Krewes.

The following week, April 8-10, Word of South Festival unfolds as an homage to well, words—those in books and in music—showcasing authors and musicians and the ways in which their work intersects. Festival goers can expect performances across all genres of music, from pop to hip-hop to bluegrass to jazz, and literary readings from poets and novelists. Country music artist Jamey Johnson headlines the weekend with a ticketed concert at Cascades Park Capital City Amphitheater on Friday night.

That same weekend, on April 9, Florida State University fans and alumni return to town for the Garnet and Gold Spring Football Game and concert series Doak After Dark, which cranks up under the stadium lights with country artist Chris Janson closing out the night.

For lovers of the arts, the greenspaces in the heart of downtown come to life April 23-24 for the LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival. Artists from across the southeast display their works, while chalk muralists color the streets in real time. During this year’s Southern Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare in the Park, May 5-8, see Much Ado About Nothing performed under the stars in Cascades Park.

Soul of Southside Arts & Humanities Festival features big musical acts, historical tours, food vendors and more.

History buffs will enjoy Soul of Southside Arts & Humanities Festival, May 19-21, where one of Tallahassee’s historically African American neighborhoods invites the community to “honor the past and celebrate the future.” Expect big musical acts, historical tours, food trucks and more.

That weekend also includes Emancipation Day, May 20, which recognizes Florida’s emancipation date in 1865 when Union Brigadier Gen. Edward McCook freed the slaves in Florida and raised a Union flag over the Florida Capitol. The recognition of the historical event is traditionally recreated on the steps of the Knott House Museum, including a dramatic reading of the proclamation.

From history to horses and art to authors, Kole says these springtime happenings offer something for everyone and just generally fill our state’s capital with a beautiful buzz. “If you live in Tallahassee or come here often,” Kole says, “you know springtime means festivals.”

For more information about Spring Events, go to

Photography courtesy of Visit Tallahassee