family art festival and salute to the troops

by jon bosworth
A meandering name for sure, but the ironic thing is that in spite of all the categories that title covers, it only accounts for a small portion of the activities contained in this elaborate event. There are family activities, artists showing their wares, live music, plenty of food, ecological information booths, and tons of military events. Find most of the information contained here at familyartfestsalutetothetroops.org.
You’ve heard of Town Center and if you’ve lived here long enough, you may even have an idea of where many local business parks are located, but it is still likely that Midtown Centre is not a location a Jacksonville local can immediately identify. So for Jacksonville locals: it is where the old Koger Center was located along Beach Boulevard in the historic neighborhood of St. Nicholas. For non-locals, St. Nicholas is the neighborhood between San Marco and University Boulevard on Beach Boulevard, a couple of miles East of the Beach/Atlantic split when coming from Downtown. Just turn left from Beach Boulevard onto Carmichael St. (near Kuhn Flowers) and you will definitely see the event going on. You’ll see it because an event of this size is not easy to miss.
On Saturday, November 8th and Sunday, November 9th the festival will take over the campus of the Midtown Centre business park. From the public streets that will be closed off for the Art Markets, to the buildings that will be filled with various community organizations, the entire business park is likely to be overrun by vendors, organizations and the 8,000 anticipated guests of the event.
Whether you want to bring the kids to create some cards to send to troops serving overseas and take the TourJax bus over to The Gallery at Fogle while learning about the history of St. Nicholas or you just want get some grub from neighborhood restaurants and catch some live music on the USO stage, it’s all here–along with plenty more! The Navy will be flying jets overhead, veterans will be recording their stories for the Library of Congress, and there will be plenty of green info from many major ecological organizations such as Breaking Ground Construction and the St. Johns Riverkeeper. With all of that said, we haven’t even mentioned most of the art activities and organizations involved!

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