THE SPECKTATOR

RAM, a Band and a Ding-dong

Riverside Arts Market Reopens With Great Fanfare

RAM founder Wayne Wood was kind/kooky enough to invite me (aka the ding-dong) to march in the parade with him and Mayor Alvin Brown. Fortunately, I did not hit Mr. Mayor in the back of the head due to my rusty twirling skills.
Kerry Speckman
The farmers market is one of RAM's most popular features. FUN FACT: Aubergines contain more nicotine than any other edible plant, though, the amount is considered negligible.
Kerry Speckman
RAM offers plenty of diversions for the kids including a rock climbing wall. FUN FACT: The world's tallest rock climbing wall is 121 feet hight and located in Groningen, Netherlands.
Kerry Speckman
If you've ever wondered if you could maneuver through a room of laser beams to steal a precious diamond or silver briefcase full of plutonium, The Launch Lazer Maze Contest may be your only opportunity—without risk of arrest. I completed half of the course in 1:48 with 12 beams broken. Two words: mission impossible.
Kerry Speckman
I hope City Council members Bill Bishop, Warren Jones and Jim Love, who were all in attendance, took the time to read this human billboard.
Kerry Speckman
Apparently, spider accessories are the new snake accessories. NOT SO FUN FACT: Cats are very susceptible to black widow venom as are horses, but dogs are relatively resistant.
Kerry Speckman
Among the gourmet foodstuffs available at RAM are crepes. FUN FACT: The word "crepe" is French in origin and derived from the Latin "crispa," meaning "curled."
Kerry Speckman
Have no idea what this is, but it looks delicious—and definitely not on the menu for No Meat March.
Kerry Speckman
Amelia and Vanessa look Broadway-ready in this fancy face paint. FUN FACT: The most popular face painting designs for girls are fantasy, princess and butterflies.
Kerry Speckman
The Navy Band Southeast was one of numerous performers at RAM. FUN FACT: Before becoming a finalist on American Idol season six, Phil Stacey was a member of the band when he was stationed at Mayport.
Kerry Speckman
I sure hope that was chalk board paint before I vandalized this van parked outside.
Kerry Speckman
I thought there were two kinds of olives: black and green. Thanks to Olive my Pickles, I now know there are hundreds of varieties. FUN FACT: Spain is the largest provider of olives in the world with more than 8 million tons produced annually.
Kerry Speckman
No offense, but Bear-Bear and Precious were better dressed than their owners. FUN FACT: One-third of all dog owners give presents to their dogs on their birthdays.
Kerry Speckman
Raw milk, available for sale at RAM, is milk that has not been pasteurized. Tastes pretty similar to whole milk except for the slight after-taste that comes from knowing that you are one step away from sucking it right out of an udder.
Kerry Speckman
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Kerry Speckman shares her unique perspective and observations on people, places and events on the First Coast and beyond. She's also the 2012 winner of Jacksonville Dancing With the Stars, so she's got that going for her.

Contact Kerry by email or follow her on Twitter.

Dubbed the “coolest thing ever” by Folio Weekly (and we would know), the Riverside Arts Market reopened last weekend with a full-on parade led by RAM founder Wayne Wood and Mayor Alvin Brown and featuring the Stanton College Preparatory School marching band. RAM staff, volunteers and some kooky blogger with a penchant for orange Ray-Bans who made the mistake of mentioning that she used to twirl the baton in elementary school also participated in the festivities.

Despite the chilly weather, hundreds of folks came out to the event to shop, eat and be entertained. Check the photo gallery above for a small sample of the day's activities and characters.

Or better yet, come out and see it for yourself. RAM is located under the Fuller Warren Bridge at Riverside Avenue and is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. every Saturday through December.

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