Jacksonville native Olivia Rolle expressing her feelings about Downtown Jacksonville.
Jacksonville native Olivia Rolle expressing her feelings about Downtown Jacksonville.
There are three different initiatives attempting to shine even more life into Downtown Jacksonville in this busy time of year.
1. The Downtown Marketing Collaborative launched a new campaign for the holiday season called #ShopDTJax Starting on Black Friday, into Small Business Saturday; the campaign will extend until the 24 of December. The campaign encourages shoppers to visit stores all throughout the Downtown area, finding deals through the #ShopDTJax hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
2. There is a new boat ramp just recently open in Downtown Jacksonville at the Jacksonville Landing. The boat ramps include 70 trailer spaces and 40 vehicle spaces, and a boardwalk on either side of the ramp. The development of this new boating ram allowing Jacksonville residents an opportunity at a spectacular view of Downtown Jacksonville from the St. Johns river in the comfort of their own boats. This addition is sure to increase activity in the Downtown Jacksonville area.
3. The most important one of them all; restaurants in Downtown Jacksonville are beginning to expand their active hours. Restaurants like Chomp Chomp, a vegetarian bistro set in the heart of DTJ, Burrito Gallery, a taco and burrito joint that patrons have been dying to get into after 10 pm, and Olio, a breakfast and lunch spot on Bay street, all plan on extending their hours not only later, but to weekends and days of the week they aren’t usually open. Owners and General Managers of these restaurants feel they are setting the bar and hope other restaurants follow suit.
Check out more information about these initiatives in the links below.
If you’re from Jacksonville or have spent a good deal of time with someone from around here, you’ve probably noticed that residents of Jacksonville are pretty loyal to their sports team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, despite one very sobering fact:
The Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t very good.
Oh yes, the Jags aren’t the greatest team in the NFL, but they do have some very dedicated fans. And with these dedicated fans comes a desire for them to attend home games. This desire, paired with the lack of a winning record, lead the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise to make drastic changes in efforts to attract fans to Everbank Field, and give them their moneys worth when attending Jags games.
That something was converting Everbank Field into the nicest stadium in the NFL.
Recently, the Jaguars and the Jacksonville City Council invested $63 million into the remodeling of Everbank Field. The renovations include two 362 foot long scoreboards at either end of the stadium, a cabana at the north end of the stadium with two functioning pools, and seating that fits 75,000.
In regards to the new and improved Everbank Field, Jacksonville Jaguars fans constantly remind the world: “We may suck, but we have a good time doing it.”
Yet another reason to visit DTJ.
Gracing the Met Park grounds once a year, The Big Ticket is one of Jacksonville’s largest events. Held in the center of Downtown Jax on Friday, December 5th, The Big Ticket brings in a number of fans similiar to the Florida-Georgia game. Larger than your average concert but not quite a music festival, The Big Ticket is a day full of critically acclaimed musical act after act.
The level of critical acclaim the acts that play The Big Ticket receive is what makes this concert so huge. With alternative rock bands Fall Out Boy and Weezer being the two headlining acts, Met Park is going to fill with fans from around the globe bursting with excitement from seeing these world famous bands perform. Fall Out Boy and Weezer combined have won MTV Video Music Awards, Teen Choice Awards, CMT Music Awards, World Music Awards, and critically acclaimed Grammy Awards, making them a perfect headlining act for such an event.
With each band having had multiple Billboard Top 100 songs and millions of album and singles copies sold, paired with 9 other popular and on the rise alternative rock bands performing, The Big Ticket is set to sell out this year. For more information on The Big Ticket, you can head to their website at here.
Jaxsons Night Market, an “open-air” market in Downtown Jacksonville, is relocating to Hemming Park. More food centered than the Downtown Artwalk but more nightlife focused than the Riverside Arts Market, Jaxsons Night Market is bringing farmers, artists, food vendors, fashion retailers and a beer garden to Hemming Park. If you enjoy Artwalk or RAM, Jaxsons Night Market gives you the best of both worlds after the sun sets.
Held on the third Thursday of every month from 5:30 to 9:00 pm, Jaxsons Night Market is said to be “one of the most exciting Downtown events to emerge in the past year”. According to Bizjournals.com, Jaxsons Night Market is projected to have so much success because of the redevelopment of the Barnett Bank building and the Laura Street Trio. Lisa Goodrich, affiliate of SouthEast Group, states the reason for this success. “The historic preservation of these majestic properties will bring vitality and 24-hour life to our city.”
For more information about Jaxsons Night Market, visit their Facebook here.
If you live in Jacksonville, the Florida-Georgia game has most likely affected you. Do you enjoy football? It doesn’t matter. Played on the first Saturday of every November, Florida/Georgia game day is one of the most important days of the year in Jacksonville. Billboards, car flags, orange and blue memoribilia in every grocery store, Florida- Georgia becomes hard to ignore at the end of every October. From the Thursday prior until Saturday night and early Sunday morning, Jacksonville, and specifically Downtown, booms with spectators, concerts, tailgates and a cornucopia of other gameday events. With Halloween generally happening the week leading up to gameday, this weekend causes Downtown Jacksonville to come to life.
In the days leading up to Florida-Georgia festivities, traffic picks up in DTJ. Restaurants and bars become full of spectators and fans packing their way into Downtown Jax. Hotels are booked up months in advanced, and RiverCity becomes RV City, where RVs line the streets, parking lots and open fields around Everbank.
Florida-Georgia brings in an insane amount of money to the Jacksonville area, specifically DTJ. News4Jax stated the Florida-Georgia game brings in around $30 million to Jacksonville each year. Taxis and cabs in the downtown area have a field day during Florida-Georgia weekend. The taxi/ cab industry booms on this day, and gets more service on this day then it does almost for the rest of the year.
So the question is, what does Florida-Georgia do for DTJ? If you live in Jacksonville, you see the remnants of the Florida-Georgia game on all sides of town. If you’ve ever been Downtown on Florida-Georgia weekend or on the days leading up to it, it’s not difficult to see what kind of affect the game has on the city of Jacksonville, and specifically the Downtown area. It brings business, people, and life to Downtown Jacksonville, which is exactly what our Downtown area needs.
Jax by Jax, a Literary Festival held Downtown Jacksonville, is a curation of writers and artistic performers in the Jacksonville and surrounding communities. Performing works of literature based around Jacksonville, all performers at Jax by Jax are Jacksonville natives. Whether literature in the form of poetry, song, a story, a memoir, or visual art, each work contains an untold message about the city of Jacksonville. The artists performing at Jax by Jax are from Jacksonville, writing about Jacksonville, at various locations in Downtown Jacksonville. These factors combine to assist in the rejuvenation of the Downtown Jacksonville community.
Happening on Saturday, November 8 from 3 to 6 PM, Jax by Jax will span across multiple locations in the Downtown and surrounding areas. Each writer will have a set location and time to showcase their work, and multiple performers will be showcasing their works at various venues simultaneously. Performers include Florida State College professors Dr. Tim Gilmore, Matthew Lany, and Wayne Francis, as well recent and senior graduates of The University of North Florida.
While allowing writers to exhibit their work to the Jacksonville literary community, Jax by Jax also gives exposure to venues hosting the event. Cool Moose Café, Café Freda, Jacksonville Magazine and Carmine’s Pie House are a few of the many locations writers will perform during the festivities. By the event goers moving from venue to venue, this gives potential customers the chance to explore each venue and what they have to offer.
Jax by Jax proves as yet another event helping put life back into Downtown Jacksonville. Using natives of Jacksonville, having them perform works focused on Jacksonville, and allowing this by utilizing venues located in the heart of Jacksonville exhibits an ingenious way to revamp and revitalize DTJ. To find out more about Jax by Jax, visit Jax by Jax’s website, follow me on Twitter, or leave a comment in the comment box below!
When you think of Downtown Jacksonville, what comes to mind? For me, it is food trucks, Artwalk, and the Cummer Museum. Recently, I’ve learned about an organization called One Spark, a crowd funding festival held in DTJ for creators and curators alike who want to showcase who they are and what they do to the Jacksonville community.
You may be wondering, what does One Spark have to do with DTJ? Well, in April I attended One Spark, and what I found was a community of people who fueled themselves by creating and sharing their creations with the Jacksonville community. One Spark helps bring in hundreds of thousands to Downtown Jacksonville, and the event goers wander for hours within DTJ. Not only does it attract thousands of people from the community, but it attracts thousands of people from around the world. Therefore, the result is a boom in economic and social gain for the businesses located Downtown and surrounding areas. Chances are that once attendees visit DTJ, they are more likely to come back because of what the Downtown area really does have to offer.
Most people don’t think of much when they think of Downtown Jacksonville; but food trucks, Artwalk and the Cummer Museum aren’t the only organizations on the rise within the Downtown area.
Waking up this morning with a itch for adventure and Bold Bean Coffee (the Riverside location has my heart), I decided to take the twenty five minute trek Downtown to bop around for a story for my blog. With my iPhone in hand and my mind buzzing from coffee, I asked myself a simple question.
What’s wrong with Downtown Jacksonville?
Without hesitation, I came up with a number of things. First and foremost, DTJ is lacking serious vibrancy and aesthetics. Walking from building to beautiful building, I became saddened by the lack of use of these historic spaces. Where one building is being used as an office space, the building to it’s left is empty and decrepit.
Which leads me to my next point.
In DTJ, it is hard to distinguish the functioning businesses from the ones that are closed down. An example of this is an fully running office building next to a business that has been closed down. Only when one gets close enough to the doors do they realize that one of these is a fully functioning business.
One of the problems with Downtown Jacksonville is the look of it. While there are some business that are pleasing to the eye and that say “Look at me, I’m here!”, there are others who barely catch a second glance by the average passerby. The lack of use of a lot of these historic places has left them overgrown by nature and overlooked by the passerby. And why they may be beautiful to look at every now and then, the majority of people in DTJ can assure you that they aren’t worth a few quarters in a parking meter to stop by and really see.
Throughout the past twenty five years, Downtown Jacksonville has seemed to deteriorate almost into oblivion. With that deterioration, it has lost it’s vibrancy and appeal.
Recently, there has been a call to action in the Jacksonville community to revive our downtown back to its former glory. With the help of organizations like One Spark, 904 Happy Hour, The Downtown Artwalk and many others, Downtown is starting to find a new identity. But there is more work to be done.
This is the blog of a girl who has recently moved to Jacksonville but quickly fallen in love with all it has to offer. I see the potential Downtown Jacksonville has, and my mission is to share it with the rest of the Jacksonville community. Throughout the next three months, I’m going to cover why Downtown Jacksonville has lost its spark, and what we as a community can do to ignite it once again.
This is the Revamping of DTJ.