Railroad Square hosts Family Day, reimagining Black Friday

Published: Nov. 28, 2021 at 10:40 AM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Leon County, the City of Tallahassee, and the Council on Culture and Arts, or COCA, hosted the first ever Family Day celebration at Railroad Square on Friday.

The event included live music, a workout competition, and incentives to shop small this holiday season.

Hundreds came out to shop local and spend quality time with their families.

The Chapman family saw the event on Facebook and decided to attend.

“This is our family, this is our community, born and raised here. And we just love things about family, we love things where families can go, safe environment, friendly environment,” said Mrs. Chapman.

The event re-imagines Black Friday as a day to celebrate family.

Chapman’s sons said they were excited to exercise and listen to live music.

The event included activities for all ages.

“Here in Tallahassee, being a small city, it’s mostly college things, so to have an event for the families is great,” said Sharonda, the mother of Devon and Lyric.

Leon County Commissioner Brian Welch said he’s proud Tallahassee and Leon County are the first in the state to dedicate the day.

“In my wildest imagination I didn’t think it would be this cool, when we brought it to the County Commission in February,” said Welch. “Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for what we have and appreciating the things that are close to us, and I think nothing exemplifies that more than family.”

The event also brought a boost to businesses in Railroad Square.

Jackie Skelding is the owner of Curio, which has been open for over 8 years, and the new mid century modern furniture shop Rare Bird.

She said the Black Friday and Small Business Saturday weekend is important for her stores.

“We’ve kind of gotten a handle now on what pandemic life looks like, so it’s a little less scary than it has been in the past couple of years, but any year, pandemic or no, shopping small for the holiday season is always really core to our business,” Skelding said.

Skelding says Railroad Square is the perfect spot to shop if you want to keep your money in the local economy.

“Every single business in the art park is a small, locally owned business, a lot of them predominantly women owned and minority owned,” Skelding said.

The Soul of Southside Festival organizers say they plan to do a market survey of each business before and after the event to gather data on how targeted events impact the local economy.

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