Winter Festival events, including parade, cancelled

Published: Nov. 30, 2018 at 4:11 PM EST
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By: Charles Roop | WCTV Eyewitness News

December 1, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Winter Festival festivities, including the parade, have been cancelled due to poor weather conditions.

The City of Tallahassee posted an update to their twitter account Saturday afternoon.

Rain chances remain high for the afternoon and evening. A tornado watch was issued for Leon County until 7 p.m.

By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News

November 30, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Threats of thunderstorms could threaten Tallahassee’s annual Winter Festival.

The event, which is now in its 32nd year, has never been cancelled. City staff said they are monitoring the weather and don’t plan to make any decisions until Saturday.

"They're going to keep going until they can't. We're going to hope for the best,” said Ashley Edwards, Director of Parks and Recreation. “All of our decisions are going to be guided by safety. Our goal is to not cancel. (We're going to do) whatever pieces and parts of the festival that we can safely... and we’re just going to have to kind of wait and see.”

Typically, the event brings more than 100,000 people to Tallahassee.

"We're hoping that the rain will hold off,” said City Commissioner Scott Maddox. "It's a wonderful time to come to our central meeting place, our downtown, our common ground, and enjoy one another as Tallahasseans."

Despite the forecast, crews continued working to assemble Candy Cane Lane, as well as the parade stage Friday. And, those participating in the parade completed final touches on their floats.

"It's Grinch all the way. 90 percent of the lights are green, Whoville signs as you can see,” said Dale Kishbaugh, with Springtime Tallahassee.

Springtime has two floats entered in the parade and is one of more than 60 entries this year. Kishbaugh said the forecasted weather is not ideal.

"I'm going to church right from here to pray a lot. Rain is not good. Probably one of the saddest parts about the rain is the crowd doesn’t come,” he said.

The Winter Festival was started three decades ago as a way to draw visitors to Tallahassee and add an event that would parallel Springtime Tallahassee during the opposite time of the year. Springtime Tallahassee also battled with inclement weather this year.

As of now, Candy Cane Lane is set to open at 3 p.m. The Lighting Ceremony beings at 6 p.m., followed by the Jingle Bell Run at 6:15 p.m. The Parade will take off at 7:15 p.m.

For any updates on weather impacts, visit