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Contact: Brittany Lesser

Viva Florida Traveling Exhibit to Debut in Marianna

TALLAHASSEE  – Today, Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced that the Jackson County  Tourist Development Council in Marianna, Florida will be the first to host the  Viva Florida traveling exhibition.  The exhibit, Viva Florida: Florida  Before Statehood, will be open from April 17 through July 2, 2014, at the Jackson County Visitor Center, located at the Historic Russ House.

“Florida’s  story is distinctive,” said Secretary Detzner. “We want to share Florida’s  historic past with as many people as possible in all regions of Florida, and  this exhibit will do just that. The exhibit is a part of the statewide  initiative, Viva Florida, which promotes our state’s history and cultural heritage.”

Viva  Florida: Florida Before Statehood begins with a look back at Florida’s  first people and the tribes that were recorded here at the time of European  contact.  Tracing history through the first colonizing attempts in the  United States made by French and Spanish settlers, the exhibition also draws  attention to the exchanges and interactions between Native Americans and  Europeans.  With information about 500 years since the landing of Juan  Ponce de León and the interrelated history of African Americans in Florida, as  well as the contemporary story of the Seminole and Miccosukee Tribes, Viva Florida: Florida Before Statehood captures a snapshot of Florida’s history in an interesting and appealing way.

As part of the Florida Department of State’s Viva Florida campaign to promote history and cultural heritage in Florida, this exhibition offers the  opportunity for venues around the state to share the story of the development  of Florida over the past 12,000 years. The exhibit is scheduled to travel to at  least two more venues in 2014. Key West International Airport and Pembroke Pines Library in Broward County will feature the exhibition once it leaves  Marianna in July. The exhibit is available for any school, library or museum to bring into their regular programing for 2015 for information about booking the exhibit, visit

For  more information on the traveling exhibit and a listing of statewide  commemorative, historical and cultural events, visit


About Viva Florida:

In  2013, Florida reached a significant milestone, the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de León's arrival on Florida's east coast. Building on the success of Viva Florida 500 in 2013, the Florida Department of State continues to work  with partners statewide to promote cultural and historical experiences through a multi-year campaign called Viva Florida, which promotes 12,000 years of Florida’s people, places and cultural achievements.