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Emancipation Celebration 2014
Festival of Freedom
Tallahassee, Florida

With special recognition of the 150th anniversary
of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation

All activities are free unless a charge is noted.
Map of event sites:

Saturday, May 3

4:00–6:00 p.m., John G. Riley Museum
The Abolitionist, a film screening and discussion sponsored by the 2nd Infantry Regiment United States Colored Troops (USCT) and Living History Association, a program of the Riley Museum and Florida African American Heritage Network

Riley Museum

John G. Riley Museum tour on May 20

Saturday, May 10

9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Speed Spencer Stephens Park
Family-friendly Season of Emancipation Walk through Living History parade and day in the park with reenactors representing the USCT, Buffalo Soldiers, and others, hosted by the 2nd Infantry Regiment USCT and Living History Association

Monday, May 12

7:00 p.m., Dr. B. L. Perry, Jr. Branch Library
The Leroy Collins Leon County Public Library System hosts Dr. Larry O. Rivers, professor of history, University of West Georgia, for a presentation entitled "'Forever Free' to 'Free at Last!' Emancipation and the Origins of the Civil Rights Movement"

Wednesday, May 14

7:00 p.m., Walker-Ford Community Center
Celebrity Volleyball with media personalities vs. Tallahassee Parks and Recreation staff

community center

Walker-Ford Community Center

Thursday, May 15

7:00–10:00 p.m., Walker-Ford Community Center
Personal Development Workshop

Friday, May 16

10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., Tom Brown Park
Smith-Williams Service Center Senior Spring-Fest and Outing that includes a fishing tournament and cookout for people over 55 years. Suggested donation: $2

prize fish

Winner of the prize for catching the most fish at the 2012 Smith-Williams Spring-Fest

6:30–9:30 p.m., Walker-Ford Community Center
"Gospel Extravaganza under the Stars"

Saturday, May 17

8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Smith-Williams Service Center
Capital City Garden Club Flower Show

10:00 a.m.–noon, John G. Riley Museum
"How the Emancipation Proclamation Changed America," a program sponsored by the 2nd Infantry Regiment USCT and Living History Association

10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Walker-Ford Community Center
Festival and Bazaar

Noon–2:00 p.m., Taylor House Museum of Historic Frenchtown
Special exhibit, The Life and Legacy of Aquilina Casanas Howell

Taylor House Museum of Historic Frenchtown

Sunday, May 18

11:00 a.m., St. John Missionary Baptist Church
Sermon: "I'm Free." St. John Missionary Baptist Church has been in the Bond community for eighty-seven years, uniting all people in worship, fellowship, and discipleship.

11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Tallahassee Museum
Tour Bellevue Plantation and the Plantation Communities exhibit. Request free admission as part of Emancipation Week festivities.

Bellevue Plantation at Tallahassee Museum

Monday, May 19

6:00 p.m. Meek-Eaton Black Archives/Museum
Freedom's Eve Jubilee and opening of News of Freedom exhibit

unlocked slave irons

Rare 17th-century slave irons from the Meek-Eaton Black Archives exhibit, News of Freedom

Tuesday, May 20

10:30 a.m., Old City Cemetery
John G. Riley Museum Civil War Grave Decorating Commemorative Service, dating back to the 1880s.


Commemorative service at the Old City Cemetery

11:45 a.m.–1:30 p.m., Knott House Museum
Dramatic reading of the Emancipation Proclamation and music, followed by a picnic in Lewis Park across from the historic site


Commemoration at the Knott House Museum


Picnic in Lewis Park

period costume

Students with Brian Bibeau as General Edward McCook

2:00–5:00 p.m., Open House at African American history sites
Free admission given at John G. Riley Museum; Ash Gallery; Florida A&M University, Black Archives at the Union Bank; Florida A&M University, Meek-Eaton Black Archives/Museum; Florida Historic Capitol Museum; Knott House Museum; Museum of Florida History; and Taylor House Museum of Historic Frenchtown. A map to the sites is available at the Knott House.

7:00 p.m., Governor's Club
"Celebrating Emancipation: Recognizing Bethel's Civil Rights Legacy and Tallahassee's Trailblazers," recognition program and reception sponsored by Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. Donation of $50.00 supports educational institutions of the Bethel Empowerment Foundation, Inc. Call 850.681.0990 or 850.222.8440.

Saturday, May 24

8:00 p.m.–midnight, McMillan National Guard Armory
"Emancipation and Abolitionist Ball" featuring Leon Anderson Jazz and Blues Band with Avis Berry, hosted by the 2nd Infantry Regiment USCT and Living History Association. Tickets: $50, individuals; $75, couples; $350, table. For tickets, call 850.509.0295 or 850.933.1940.

ball dancing

The USCT at the Emancipation and Abolitionist Ball

Tallahassee Event Locations

Ash Gallery
436 W Georgia Street; 850.383.9915

Dr. B. L. Perry, Jr. Branch Library
2817 South Adams Street; 850.606.2665

Florida A&M University, Meek-Eaton Black Archives/Museum
445 Gamble Street; 850.599.3020

Florida A&M University, Black Archives at the Union Bank
219 Apalachee Parkway; 850.561.2603

Florida Historic Capitol Museum
400 South Monroe Street; 850.922.0085

Governor's Club
202 South Adams Street; 850.224.0650

John G. Riley Museum
419 East Jefferson Street; 850.681.7881

Knott House Museum
301 East Park Avenue; 850.922.2459

McMillan National Guard Armory
1225 Easterwood Drive

Museum of Florida History
500 South Bronough Street; 850.245.6400

Old City Cemetery
Martin Luther King Street between Park Avenue and Call Street

Smith-Williams Service Center
2295 Pasco Street; 850.891.1860

Speed Spencer Stephens Park
1907 Saxon Street

St. John Missionary Baptist Church
835 Palm Beach Street

Tallahassee Museum
3945 Museum Drive; 850.575.8684

Taylor House Museum of Historic Frenchtown
442 West Georgia Street; 850.294.4994

Walker-Ford Community Center
2301 Pasco Street; 850.891.3970

See the event map at