Celebration in Downtown Tallahassee for Emancipation Proclamation

On May 20, 1865, news of President Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation was delivered in Tallahassee from the steps of the Knott House.

Friday’s celebration was marked by a re-enactment on those very steps.

Brian Bibeau, portraying Brig. Gen. Edward McCook, said, "I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated states and parts of states are and hence forth shall be free."

The day's activities included live music, costume presentations, a picnic lunch in Lewis Park, and much more. For many in attendance, the celebration marks an important anniversary.

Lessie G. Sanford, celebrating the anniversary, says, "It really, you can't hardly describe the feeling that you get. You go back, great, great, great, grandparents and you put yourself in their place and what it must of meant to them."

Brian Bibeau says, "It was a horrible thing, terrible blot on our past, and it was the end of slavery in our country is an amazing turn for the better and I'm glad to help celebrate that great event."

John Marks, Tallahassee Mayor, says, "The attendance is wonderful. We need to get it up and get more people up here to celebrate this wonderful event and hopefully as things go along in the years to come, we will do some more things to encourage people to come out and celebrate this wonderful event."

It’s an event that means as much today in Tallahassee as it did more than 100 years ago. All activities for Friday’s Emancipation celebration were free of charge to the public.