Sunday, August 31, 2014

2014 Festival of Ice concludes with Cool Jazz on the Docks

The Bo May's Faux Jazz Quartet

The 2014 Festival of Ice concluded last night with some cool jazz played by the Bo May's Faux Jazz Quartet on the docks of beautiful Riverfront Park in historic downtown Apalachicola.

A modest gathering of jazz lovers assembled from across Franklin County along with visitors into the park to enjoy the vista of a serene waterfront while listening to the quartet perform soothing jazz made popular by such great artists as Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock and Dizzy Gillespie. The event was made possible by Franklin's Promise Coalition though its Weems Arts & Medicine Program in collaboration with the City of Apalachicola.

A decorative cake commemorating the book signing

The Festival also included other noteworthy events and activities that occurred throughout the month, starting with a book signing and ice cream social on August 2nd sponsored by the Apalachicola Area Historical Society with assistance from the City of Apalachicola History, Culture and Art Committee. The book signing was held at the Raney House Museum, the former home of Raney and featured the newly released book "Raney Days", written by author Sara McFerrin. The book details the history of the Raney family and their role in the development of early Apalachicola. The book signing was followed by a dinner for the descendants of Raney at Trinity Episcopal Church.

The Festival picked up momentum during the evening of August 15th with a lecture and exhibition by noted author and ice expert Ellie Morris. Morris lectured the gathering inside the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art on the impact the introduction of ice had on the development of early North Florida.

Mayor Johnson posing with visitors on the steps of the Grady
Market holding an autographed Festival of Ice poster

And on the morning of August 16th Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson read aloud a Mayor’s Proclamation on the steps of the Grady Market commemorating Dr. John Gorrie induction into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame. With his invention of a mechanical ice-making device to cure yellow fever, Gorrie is now most noted as the father of modern day refrigeration and air conditioning and one of the inaugural inductees into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame.

From left to right: Ellie Morris, Willie McNair, Park Ranger and Billy Redd

Following the reading by the mayor a demonstration in the art of ice carving was held at the John Gorrie Museum State Park. The demonstration was conducted by Billy Redd, Instructor at Gulf Coast State College Culinary Program. The event was a collaborative effort between the City of Apalachicola History, Culture and Art Committee, Historic Apalachicola Main Street, Gulf Coast State College and staff at the Gorrie Museum.

In all a total of nine entities collaborated to pull off the 2014 Festival of Ice to make it a huge success: The City of Apalachicola History, Culture and Art Committee, Historic Apalachicola Main Street, Visit Florida, Franklin's Promise Coalition, Franklin County Tourist Development Council, Culture Builds Florida, Florida Park Service, Apalachicola Area Historical Society and Trinity Episcopal Church.

It takes all concerned working together to bring about the desired change within the community and although local government has the lead role the broader community must come together and work in true partnership with local government. In doing so, working together we can accomplish anything.