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Jacksonville Events Today, This Weekend

Jacksonville, FL events today, tomorrow, this weekend and few days after it are listed below. If interested to attend selected Jacksonville event, feel free to check for tickets.

Entertainment in Jacksonville, FL

Throughout the year, many annual events of various types are held in Jacksonville. In sports, the annual Gate River Run has been held annually since March 1977. It has been the US National 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) road race Championship since 1994 and is the largest race of its distance in the country with over 13,000 runners, spectators, and volunteers, making it Jacksonville’s largest participation sporting event. In college football, the Gator Bowl is held on January 1. It has been continuously held since 1946. Also, the Florida–Georgia game (also known as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”), the annual college football game between the rival Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs has been held in Jacksonville almost yearly since 1933. For six days in July the Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament is held for fishermen of all skills. With $500,000 of prizes up for grabs, up to 1000 boats participate with almost 30,000 spectators watching. Jacksonville is also home of River City Pride which is Northeast Florida’s largest Gay Pride parade. The parade and festivities usually take place over the course of the weekend usually the first or second weekend in October in Jacksonville’s Riverside neighborhood. The first pride parade was held in 1978.

A number of cultural events are also held in Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Jazz Festival, held downtown, is the second-largest jazz festival in the nation, while Springing the Blues, one of the oldest and largest blues festivals, has been held in Jacksonville Beach since 1990. The World of Nations Celebration has been held in Metropolitan Park since 1993, and features a number of events, food and souvenirs from various countries.

The Art Walk, a monthly outdoor art festival on the first Wednesday of each month, is sponsored by Downtown Vision, Inc, an organization which works to promote artistic talent and venues on the First Coast. Jacksonville is home to many breweries and a growing number of distilleries. Other events include the Blessing of the Fleet held in March since 1985 and the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair in November at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds and Exposition Center featuring games, rides, food, entertainment and livestock exhibition. One Spark is an annual and the largest crowdfunding event held for creators to showcase their ideas for a chance to win part of $300,000 in funding. Riverside Arts Market (RAM), an outdoor arts-and-crafts market on the Riverwalk, occurs every Saturday from March to December under the canopy of the Fuller Warren Bridge. Holiday celebrations include the Freedom, Fanfare & Fireworks celebration on July 4, the lighting of Jacksonville’s official Christmas tree at the Jacksonville Landing on the day after Thanksgiving and the Jacksonville Light Parade of boats the following day.

The VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, which opened in 2003, is a 16,000-seat performance venue that attracts national entertainment, sporting events and also houses the Jacksonville Sports Hall of Fame. It replaced the outdated Jacksonville Coliseum that was built in 1960 and demolished on June 26, 2003. The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens boasts the second largest animal collection in the state. The zoo features elephants, lions, and jaguars, with an exhibit, Range of the Jaguar, hosted by the former owners of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Delores and Wayne Weaver. It also has a multitude of reptile houses, free flight aviaries, and many other animals. Adventure Landing is an amusement park with locations in Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach. The Jacksonville Beach location contains Shipwreck Island, Duval County’s only waterpark.

Theatre Jacksonville was organized in 1919 as the Little Theatre and is one of the oldest continually producing community theatres in the United States. The Alhambra Dinner Theatre, located on the Southside near the University of North Florida, has offered professional productions that frequently starred well-known actors since 1967. There are also a number of popular community theatres such as Players by the Sea located in Jacksonville Beach. The Murray Hill Art Center was reopened in February 2012 through a partnership of the Jacksonville Parks and Recreation (JaxParks) and the Art League of Jacksonville, a nonprofit dedicated to arts education. The center is located in the historic Murray Hill area and offers community arts classes as well as shared studio space for aspiring artists. Visitors are welcomed year around for events and classes.

The Ritz Theatre, opened in 1929, is located in the LaVilla neighborhood of the northern part of Jacksonville’s downtown. The Jacksonville music scene was active in the 1930s in LaVilla, which was known as “Harlem of the South”. Black musicians from across the country visited Jacksonville to play standing room only performances at the Ritz Theatre and the Knights of Pythias Hall. Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong were a few of the legendary performers who appeared. After his mother died when he was 15, Ray Charles lived with friends of his mother while he played piano at the Ritz for a year, before moving on to fame and fortune. The Ritz Theatre was rebuilt and opened in October 1999.

Jacksonville native Pat Boone was a popular 1950s singer and teen idol. During the 1960s, the Classics IV was the most successful pop rock band from Jacksonville. Southern Rock was defined by the Allman Brothers Band, which formed in 1969 in Jacksonville. Lynyrd Skynyrd achieved near cult status and inspired Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet and .38 Special, all successful in the 1970s. The 1980s were a quiet decade for musical talent in Jacksonville.

The Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts consists of three distinct halls: the Jim & Jan Moran Theater, a venue for touring Broadway shows; the Jacoby Symphony Hall, home of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra; and the Terry Theater, intended for small shows and recitals. The building was originally erected as the Civic Auditorium in 1962 and underwent a major renovation and construction in 1996.

The next local band to achieve national success was the nu metal band Limp Bizkit, formed in 1994. Other popular Hip Hop acts in the 1990s included 95 South, 69 Boyz and the Quad City DJ’s. The bands Inspection 12, Cold and Yellowcard were also well known and had a large following. Following the millennium, Fit For Rivals, Burn Season, Evergreen Terrace, Shinedown, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and Black Kids became notable bands from the city.

Sports in Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville is home to a number of professional sports teams, and the city has a long history of athletics. The Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL) compete at the major league level. Additionally, the PGA Tour is headquartered in the suburb of Ponte Vedra Beach, where it hosts The Players Championship every year.

In addition, Jacksonville has a number of minor league and semiprofessional sports teams. These include the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp baseball team, the Jacksonville Icemen ice hockey team, the Jacksonville Sharks indoor football team, the Jacksonville Axemen rugby league team, and the Jacksonville Giants basketball team. Jacksonville is also home to two universities, Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida, which compete in NCAA Division I. Several college sporting events are also held in Jacksonville annually.

Football is by far the most popular sport in the Jacksonville area. The city is home to the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). The only major league-level sports team to play in Jacksonville, the Jaguars currently play in South Division of the NFL’s American Football Conference (AFC).

The Jaguars joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1995, along with the Carolina Panthers. In 1990, the NFL had announced it would expand by two teams, and Jacksonville entered the bidding war. Jacksonville was the smallest market among the bidders, and was considered the unlikeliest choice. However, in 1993, after a series of negotiations, the NFL announced that the second franchise would go to Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Jaguars play at TIAA Bank Field in downtown Jacksonville. The Jaguars have won three division championships, in 1996, 1999, and 2017, and they have made seven playoff appearances.

Jacksonville’s football bowl game, the Gator Bowl, began in 1946. The Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs have played their annual football game, informally known as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”, in Jacksonville every year since 1933, save a two-year hiatus caused by the razing of the Gator Bowl Stadium and construction of the EverBank Field. The Florida State Seminoles have also held individual regular season games there, and in 1964 Georgia Tech and Navy played a regular season game there. The latter game was notable because 1963 Heisman Trophy winner and NFL Hall of Famer Roger Staubach played quarterback for Navy. Georgia Tech won the game, 17-0. On September 2, 1989 Florida State played Southern Mississippi in the regular season opener at the Gator Bowl. Southern Miss quarterback Brett Favre led his team to a 30-26 upset of the heavily favored Seminoles.

About Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville is the most populous city in Florida and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. It is the seat of Duval County, with which the city government consolidated in 1968. Consolidation gave Jacksonville its great size and placed most of its metropolitan population within the city limits. As of 2018, Jacksonville’s population was estimated to be 903,889. The Jacksonville metropolitan area has a population of 1,523,615 and is the fourth largest metropolitan area in Florida.

Jacksonville is centered on the banks of the St. Johns River in the First Coast region of northeast Florida, about 25 miles (40 km) south of the Georgia state line and 328 miles (528 km) north of Miami. The Jacksonville Beaches communities are along the adjacent Atlantic coast. The area was originally inhabited by the Timucua people, and in 1564 was the site of the French colony of Fort Caroline, one of the earliest European settlements in what is now the continental United States. Under British rule, a settlement grew at the narrow point in the river where cattle crossed, known as Wacca Pilatka to the Seminole and the Cow Ford to the British. A platted town was established there in 1822, a year after the United States gained Florida from Spain; it was named after Andrew Jackson, the first military governor of the Florida Territory and seventh President of the United States.

Harbor improvements since the late 19th century have made Jacksonville a major military and civilian deep-water port. Its riverine location facilitates Naval Station Mayport, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, the U.S. Marine Corps Blount Island Command, and the Port of Jacksonville, Florida’s third largest seaport. Jacksonville’s military bases and the nearby Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay form the third largest military presence in the United States. Significant factors in the local economy include services such as banking, insurance, healthcare and logistics. As with much of Florida, tourism is important to the Jacksonville area, particularly tourism related to golf. People from Jacksonville may be called “Jacksonvillians” or “Jaxsons” (also spelled “Jaxons”).

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