Things to do in Tallahassee: Find your blues, barbecue and fireworks on 4th of July

Hot Tamale spices up the barbecue with tunes from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 3, 2022.
Hot Tamale spices up the barbecue with tunes from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 3, 2022.

Welcome to a three-day Independence Day weekend packed with barbecue, blues and booms! It's also a First Friday, so check out the arty happenings at Railroad Square.

If past is prologue, a thunderstorm will rain down at some point at Tom Brown Park on the Fourth of July and clear off in time for the big fireworks display. The Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra will serenade at the Celebrate America festivities, which run from 7-10 p.m.

Tallahassee 4th of July: Live music, fireworks and more this Fourth of July at Tallahassee's Celebrate America event

Leon High Musical: Behind-the-scenes magic brings 'Beauty and the Beast' to life at Leon High School

In Wakulla County, Sopchoppy 4th of July is back for its 48th celebration with music, vendors and fireworks on Monday. And St. George Island and Carrabelle will be lighting up the sky at dark-thirty.

Keep the music cool and jazzy this weekend with Pat Puckett at Blue Tavern, Johnnie Marshall at the Bradfordville Blues Club and jazz fusion group Spyro Gyra at The Moon.

Here's a roundup of entertaining happenings around Tallahassee we've culled from emails, the Council on Culture & Arts online listings and elsewhere.

Sopchoppy lights up with parade and fireworks

Sopchoppy’s 4th of July event is back for its 48th year with a parade, performers, and more.

Started in 1973, the City of Sopchoppy comes together with volunteers to put on a 4th of July celebration for the community. It starts with a bang at 10 a.m. Monday as the Bill Stephens Americana Parade, named for the celebration’s founder, makes its way through downtown.

Festivities take places after the parade at Myron B. Hodge City Park, right on the beautiful Sopchoppy River with music performances throughout the day, along with arts and crafts booths, food, exhibits, and activities just for kids. Entertainment includes the “Take Two” Music Duo, Rockulla, DJ Butch, the Tobacco Rd Band, and more all kicking off at 11 a.m. A donation of $2 is requested. At sunset, the fireworks display will begin.

On St. George Island, everyone is welcome to join in the annual July 4th celebration. Stick around all day and enjoy festivities and fireworks on the beach behind the Blue Parrot Oceanfront Cafe.

Spyro Gyra will perform Saturday at The Moon in Tallahassee on Saturday, July 2, 2022.
Spyro Gyra will perform Saturday at The Moon in Tallahassee on Saturday, July 2, 2022.

Spyro Gyra brings jazzy new 'Vinyl Tap' sounds to The Moon

New York jazz-fusion legends Spyro Gyra come to Tallahassee in support of their latest album, "Vinyl Tap" (2019) for a show at The Moon, 1105 E. Lafayette St., on Saturday, July 2. Doors open at 7 p.m. and show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 general admission in advance, $25-$35 reserved seating advance, all ages. Visit

The album of covers features everything from "Secret Agent Mash" to "Sunshine of your Love," and "What A Fool Believes" and "You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away." Art Good, the host of the Jazztrax radio show had this to say, noted on the Spyro Gyra website: “When I saw that Spyro had done an album of covers, I cringed. then I was terrified to begin listening, then I listened. now I can’t stop listening."

Pat Puckett brings the tunes to the Blue Tavern at 8 p.m. Friday, July 1 2022.
Pat Puckett brings the tunes to the Blue Tavern at 8 p.m. Friday, July 1 2022.

Pat Puckett is picking at Blue Tavern

Kick off the holiday weekend at Blue Tavern, 1206 N. Monroe St., from 5-7 p.m. Friday, July 1, with Ken Waldman & Steve Hodges on fiddle and guitar. They feature old-time Appalachian-style string band music, some original tunes, maybe a few surprises. At 8 p.m. Pat Puckett, one of the mainstays of Tallahassee's music scene, brings a raft of songs and stories that always make an impact.  $5 cover

It's the 1st Saturday Swim with Bluegill Bill from 5-7 p.m. Saturday at the Blue Tavern. Vocalist and songwriter Therese Whichello takes the stage from 8-11 p.m. Saturday. In two sets, Therese brings her originals and molds unexpected covers into her own creations. The incredible Joe Goldberg will be stopping by on sax/clarinet to add his touch on things!

Therese Whichello entertains at Blue Tavern on Saturday, July 2, 2022.
Therese Whichello entertains at Blue Tavern on Saturday, July 2, 2022.

This is where jazz meets folk with some quality storytelling. Expect to hear originals in a style that fuses her folk & jazz roots and covers from Joni Mitchell, Blossom Dearie, Tedeschi-Trucks, Ani DiFranco, Billy Strayhorn, Peggy Lee, Randy Newman, The Beatles, and Diana Krall. Set 1- In Love, Set 2- Out of Love. Whichello is a private voice and piano teacher and is coming back to solo performing after a small hiatus. $5 cover.

Start happy hour from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday with Celtic music from Angel's Share, performed by Alexis Finet and Stephen Hodges. The duo will also be playing a variety of American and Brazilian standards which showcases. Frank Lindamood steps in from 8-10 p.m. for Tuesday is Bluesday. $3 cover.

On Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. it's happy hour with Michael Cattell and then at 8 p.m. Doc Russell hosts Open Mic Night.

Ben & Kirill play fiddle and accordion music from 5-7 p.m. Thursday at Blue Tavern, followed by Viktor Billa, a Ukrainian concert and liturgical organist, pianist and teacher.

Victor Billa will perform Ukrainian music at Blue Tavern on Thursday, July 7, 2022.
Victor Billa will perform Ukrainian music at Blue Tavern on Thursday, July 7, 2022.

In 2015 Viktor was appointed staff organist at Trinity United Methodist Church in Tallahassee. He enjoys introducing the organ in concert performances and Church liturgy. In 2017 Viktor released his first CD, “Bach at Trinity,” recorded at Trinity United Methodist Church, at the “Casavant Frères” organ. For Viktor, “music is prayer without words.”  Viktor was accepted to the FSU Doctor in Musical Arts in Organ Performance program starting Fall 2022. On Thursday evening of July 7, he'll perform Ukrainian piano music, art songs, folk songs and famous Ukrainian tunes. $5 cover.

Johnnie Marshall comes marching back to the Bradfordville Blues Club

JC and The Backscratchers are back on the corner stage at the Bradfordville Blues Club, 7152 Moses Lane, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 1.  If you’re itchin’ for some down-home blues and a straight-up good time. The Backscratchers are Tallahassee's own with Chris "JC" Balding, vocals, harmonica; Sean Everett, guitar; Jack Straub, bass; Deb “Sweetgroove” Berlinger, drums; and

Don Gormly, keys. Bad to the bone old school blues.

Advance tickets are $15 at Bring an appetite for Ms. Ernestine's famous fried catfish and sausages.

The club's favorite son, Johnnie Marshall, triumphantly returns to the corner stage after a pandemic hiatus from playing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. He’s played the club for so long — over two decades — that he has two portraits. One is hanging under the stage spotlight and the other smiles up from a table top. He's reigned supreme with his down home partyin’ blues and crowd pleasing spell he casts over the BBC faithful.  He'll be js.  oined by long time bassist Randy Barnhill and Steve Fryson on drums.

Come on out and welcome Johnnie's return to the music scene! We'll light up the sky during the break with a mini fireworks celebration about 8:30 p.m.

Advance tickets are $20 with a table reserved in your name at

The BBC's Juke Joint Jam continues Sunday starting at 3 p.m. The jam is open to all comers at all levels and is free to participants and the public. Show up and sign up as usual. In addition to the backline drum kit and bass amp, we will also have a backline guitar amp. Tapestry Senior Living Lakeshore is the July and August sponsor of the jam! Carlito’s Way Food Truck will be onsite.

4th of July Food Trucks in Havana

With the success of Fourth Friday Food Truck events, Havana is planning a Food Truck 4th of July on Monday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. KB's Snow Cone Palace and Pelia's Kitchen will be parked in the usual spot, outside of the little red barn between the Antique and Design Center and Kellum's Furniture. Stores will be open 10 - 5 and everyone who makes a purchase from the food trucks will receive a 10% discount in the shops when they present their receipt.

Low Flying Plans land in Southwood

Low Flying Planes is circling back to the Great Oaks Pub in Southwood, 3750 Grove Park Drive, for an encore performance from 7-10 p.m. Friday, July 1. They will be rockin’ and rollin’ in the outdoor gazebo under the live oaks. The 5-piece group covers all the hits from the '50s to modern day.  They have been a staple in the Tallahassee music scene for the past 30 years. The group consists of Randy Hock on lead vocals and guitar, Everett Teague on guitar, Scott Johnson on vocals and drums, Trey Grauer on vocals and bass and Jim Graham on xax.  Bring your dancing shoes, full restaurant and bar.  No cover, call 850-942- 4653 for reservations.

Matt Maeson, shown from Blood Runs Red album, is set to perform at 926 Club on July 7, 2022.
Matt Maeson, shown from Blood Runs Red album, is set to perform at 926 Club on July 7, 2022.

Matt Maeson makes it to 926 Bar

Virginia's Matt Maeson ("Hallucinogenics") comes to Tallahassee for a solo acoustic show along with support from 1-800-BRENNAN-COLLECT on Thursday, July 7, at 926 Bar, 926 W. Tharpe St. Doors open at 8 p.m. and show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are

$25 advance, $28 day of show. $2 under 21 fee at the door. All ages.

Maeson just released “A Memory Away” from his upcoming Sophomore album "Never Had to Leave," due out Aug. 26.


Leon High Choral Department presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast July 8-17 at Leon High School Performing Arts Theatre, 550 E. Tennessee St. Showtimes are 7 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on July 10 and 17. There will be a Special Preview night on July 7 with $10 all seats ($1.50 fee for online purchasing) or free for advertisers. Visit, All tickets are $15.75 for all seats, all ages.

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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Tallahassee is banging with jazz, blues, fireworks for July 4th