TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Springtime Tallahassee is an event that brings people out across the Big Bend and organizers want to make sure everyone can attend the city's biggest festival.
For the first time, the annual event is opening an accessible viewing area for people with disabilities.
For nearly 41 years, Jeffery Douglas has been adapting to a different way of living. In 1979, he had a spinal injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down.
It's something that's made it difficult for him to be out and engaged in his community.
"I think the problem I have with it is the crowds," Douglas said.
Finding out that Springtime Tallahassee, a tradition for many, was making changes to make participating in the festival a bit easier gave him some hope and excitement.
"When things are more accessible to people who are disabled we get out more and we spend," said Douglas. "So we contribute to the economy of Tallahassee."
This year the festival will feature "accessible viewing" areas during the music festival, parade and Jubilee in the Park.
The changes include a great view of the stage, reserved sitting at the parade for people who have need devices like wheelchairs to get around, and special parking areas and even some wheelchairs available during Jubilee in the Park.
"They are our community," said Jennifer Shafer, the executive director of Springtime Tallahassee. "They are members of our community. They are as much of a part of the community as you and I."
These changes are something that Shafer says are needed so that everyone can experience the event in a way that works best for them.
"This is a calming atmosphere for people to come who need less of a crowd and more freedom of space to fully enjoy the concert," Shafer said. "So we are excited to be able to have this."
Pre-registration is required to get a spot in the reserved viewing areas, and is open until March 11.
The festival kicks off on March 27.
The music festival is always one of the biggest draws of the weekend. This year Rodney Atkins will headline the show with opening acts Jimmie Allen and FSU's Chandler.