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Word of South Festival kicks off first day in Tallahassee

Posted at 12:49 AM, Apr 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-10 00:59:17-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The word of South Festival at Cascades Park in Tallahassee is celebrating arts and culture from across the country.

In 2021 the festival returned following a pandemic shut down the year before, but to a very limited crowd of only about three thousand people. On top of that, the festival was brought inside to different venues across the city of Tallahassee because of weather.

With more than 85 artists playing this year Tim and Emily Alford made the trip to Tallahassee from Albany Georgia.

"We came out and heard the music," said Tim. "It was good music so we decided to stay around for that. It's great seeing people getting out for a change since we've been couped in for the last two years, people are coming out and it's a great atmosphere, great music so."

The festival is also a celebration of Florida Artists who have contributed to the arts and culture development across the state.

One of those people Tallahassee Native Hunter Hill. Hill is one of the few remaining 20th of May Drummers. The have a special drum beat that carries a long standing tradition for families like Hill's.

"It became a lifestyle, and the lifestyle was part of our culture, and so we passed it down from generation to generation," said Hill.

Hill says the drumming he learned was passed down from family member to family member-- going all the way back to his enslaved ancestors.

"After the civil war, they had no need for the drums so they gave them to the ex-slaves like that, it became a lifestyle and they played it for the next one hundred years," said Hill.

Hill says he's honored to receive recognition for his involvement in the arts and culture movement in Florida... and hopes that more people can learn about his culture by hearing his story through festivals like Word of South.