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First Friday returns to Railroad Square Art District following Tallahassee tornado

A tornado hit the Tallahassee landmark May 10
Posted at 6:22 PM, Jun 07, 2024
  • A Tallahassee tradition returned to Railroad Square Art District Friday.
  • Following tornado damage, leaders at Railroad Square implemented some changes to welcome visitors.
  • Watch the video above to see the progress that has been made.


First Friday has started here at Railroad Square, and it means a whole lot more this month. I'm Alberto Camargo at Railroad Square. This area has been changed forever by the tornadoes last month. Recovery continues, but there's also a positive feeling in the air.

At first, it was hard for many at Railroad Square to stay positive. Grace Lamerson of The Other Side Vintage says the last few weeks have been tougher than she could have imagined. "It's been a lot quieter and a lot of people lost their jobs and their stores."

But Lamerson says not losing out on First Friday shows how strong the community and its supporters are. "The resilience of artists and the way artists can come back from anything. Even tornadoes, artists will find a way to persevere and get through it, and I feel like that's really what Railroad Square is about."


FAMU suffers damage, neighbors react to the severe weather event

At Crystal Portal, the feelings are the same. Leah Hudson says the last month has given her a new perspective. "There is a new sense of gratitude because we faced such a loss, so we just have to go from here."

Crystal Portal is doing its own part to support other businesses. The store opened up a space next door for CaliFlo Yoga Collective to hold yoga sessions after their building was damaged. Assistant manager Isabel Wimmer says it's the least they could do as a business that had better luck. "We are immensely grateful that we have a roof and that this shop is still open and running. And I really do hope that those businesses receive just as much support than we do.

Storm damage means parking is still limited within the square. First Friday leaders have reserved this parking lot by the FAMU Child Development Center for extra spaces. You can walk to Railroad Square from here -- or take one of the free shuttles. Shuttle services have already started and will run continuously every 15 minutes.

If you're considering coming to visit, take your time -- there's no rush. Shuttles will be running until 9:15 p.m. and security in the parking lot will stay until 10 p.m.