happening downtown in may

May 1: Taylor Swift
Also performing, Kellie Pickle and newcomers Gloriana. Veterans Memorial Arena, 300 A. Philip Randolph Blvd., 7:30 pm, 630-3900

MAY 1-3: World of Nations Celebration
Take a trip around the globe at the 17th Annual World of Nations Celebration. Celebrate the rich cultural traditions and unique heritage of people from around the world and experience the cuisine, artistry and customs from lands near and far. Metropolitan Park, 630-3690

MAY 1-10: Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz
Long before that girl from Kansas arrived in Munchkinland, two girls met in the Land of Oz. See how they grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. FCCJ Artist Series Times-Union Center, 632-3373, artistseries.fccj.org

MAY 2: The Music of Queen
This amazingly musical tribute to Freddie Mercury and Queen features vocalist Michael Shotton and the Jeans ‘n Classics Band teaming up with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Times-Union Center, Jacoby Symphony Hall, 8 pm, 633-6110

May 4: Unwigged & Unplugged
The 25th Anniversary of This is Spinal Tap Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer are reuniting for an “Unwigged & Unplugged” tour, where they will perform selections from Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind and more. Florida Theatre, 355-2787

MAY 6: First Wednesday Art Walk
Easy On The Eyes, Music To The Ears Groove to the sounds of Aerial Tribe in Hemming Various Downtown venues, 5 – 9 pm, 634-0303, www.downtownjacksonville.org or www.DTJAX.org by mobile phone for event information. (see page 17 & 18)

May 8: Night of Champions
Fellowship of Christian Athletes will host Night of Champions featuring Danny Wuerffel, the Tebow Family, and others, This family-friendly event will offer guests a night of music, comedy and inspirational messages from Gator greats. Veterans Memorial Arena, 7 pm, 630-3900

MAY 8: Billy Currington
Billy Currington will put on a classic country show at Mavericks Rock N’ Honky Tonk. Mavericks Rock N’ Honky Tonk, upstairs at The Jacksonville Landing, 8 pm, 356-1110

MAY 9: Monster Mash Amateur Film Festival
Jacksonville Main Library,11:00 am, 630-2665

MAY 15-21: Jacksonville Film Festival
Check the website www.filmfestival.jacksonville.com as more information becomes available. Various Downtown Locations (see page 14-15)

MAY 16: Volunteer For Downtown Digs!
More than 100 Downtown tree beds will be cleaned, weeded and mulched. Headquarters: Downtown Garage (116 N. Pearl St.), enter on Clay Street between Forsyth Street and Adams Street. Parking is free for all volunteers. Info: Cheryl Mott, 634-0303 x 221 or [email protected].

MAY 16: Starry Nights
The City of Jacksonville brings back Starry Nights. Featuring Grammy award-winning country artist LeAnn Rimes accompanied by the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Metropolitan Park, 630-3690

MAY 20-21: Senior Expo
Join the City of Jacksonville for two days devoted to sharing Jacksonville’s programs, resources and services available to senior citizens and their families. Free admission and parking. Prime Osborn Convention Center, 630-7392

MAY 20: Cirque du Soleil – Saltimbanco
Saltimbanco is a Cirque du Soleil signature show inspired by the urban fabric of the metropolis and its colorful inhabitants. Saltimbanco takes spectators on an allegorical and acrobatic journey into the heart of the city. Veterans Memorial Arena, 630-3900

MAY 21: Jacksonville Jazz Festival Piano Competition
Witness five of the best amateur jazz pianists as they compete for cash, prizes and the opportunity to perform at the internationally renowned 2009 Jacksonville Jazz Festival. The Florida Theatre, 630-3690. See pages 10-13.

MAY 21-24: Jacksonville Jazz Festival
The 2009 festival will continue the tradition of Jazz in Jacksonville with a variety of jazz genres and featured activities in the heart of downtown Jacksonville. Special components include Art in the Heart juried art show and sale and the Wine Down Tasting Experience featuring a variety of fine wines. Other activities include the ‘Round Midnight Jazz Jam, Jazz Brunches, CHOPS movie screening, jazz exhibits and more. Heart of Downtown Jacksonville, 630-3690. See pgs 10-13.

MAY 25: Memorial Wall Ceremony
Local heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country will be honored. The ceremony includes keynote speakers, presentation of colors, family tributes, a wreath presentation, a 21-gun salute, “Taps” and musical tributes. Veterans Memorial Wall, 630-3690

MAY 27: Business and Career EXPO
Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center, 630-4000

MAY 29: Bond, James Bond
007 is brought to life through the performance of classic pieces of cinematic music with UK superstar soprano Mary Carewe performing with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Times-Union Center, Jacoby Symphony Hall, 8 pm, 633-6110

Jacksonville Suns Baseball
The Suns will be playing at home on the following dates in May.
May 1-4: Mobile Bay Bears
May 11-15: Mississippi Braves
May 21-25: Montgomery Biscuits
Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, 854-0655

regular downtown events from downtown vision
Downtown Vision has been responsible for shaping a positive perception of Downtown whether with their “ambassadors” (the orange shirted folk you’ll see at every Art Walk giving out directions) or through keeping the latest information on their website. They coordinate Downtown events and collaborate with others who want to build and grow Downtown popularity. Here are just some of the events that have become a regular thing in the Downtown area. by erin thursby

Friday Market
Each Friday there’s a market at Hemming Plaza from 10 am-2 pm. It’s during the work week, so they get their biggest crowd during lunch. It’s not a huge market, but it’s growing slowly. You can find some produce, the occasional baked goods and plenty of knickknacks and jewelry. Live music is generally part of the mix, so it’s a relaxing Friday lunch spot fro brown baggers.

Art Walk
Our Art Walk just keeps getting better. Currently the Hayden Burns library is the hotspot. Check out the basement level for the latest in hip homegrown art. Sometimes they set of skate ramps down there or band sets up. You never know what you’re going to see–the Jaguars team mascot, some tripped out performance art or an artist that will blow your mind. Art Walks are held on the first Wednesday of each month.

Movies in the Park
There’s nothing like free movie under the stars. That’s what you’ll get at Treaty Oak Park, aka Jessie Ball DuPont Park on the SouthBank. Bring snacks, blankets and lawnchairs to enjoy the show. Upcoming movies are Friday, May 1, Finding Nemo & Friday, May 8, Beetlejuice. Both start at 8 pm.

Eat Up Downtown
There are some great eateries to experience Downtown (hello Chew!) but you might need a little extra incentive to try them out in this economy. Enter Eat Up Downtown, a great week long event. Most of the places Downtown participate. Each place provides a fixed-price 3 course dinner for $25. That way you’ll know exactly what you’ll be spending! This year the event is set for August.
Go to downtownjacksonville.org for more info on these events.

head to the landing in may
If you haven’t been to the Landing for an event in a few years, one of the events this month might be for you! We spoke with Rachel Nudge, Director of Public Relations for Landing about what’s coming up this month. by erin thursby

Yappy Hour
Jacksonville loves dogs. They take them everywhere they can. The Landing, with its outdoor seating, has always been a place where people brought their pooches. Now dogs and their owners have their own official monthly event (through August).
Rachel J. Nudge, director of public relations at the Landing, says that with Yappy Hour they basically “took something that you could already do and planned an event.”
People dress up their dogs; there are even “oasis” tents for dogs and their owners to relax. Various pet related vendors and rescue services will be there as well. Prizes will be given away throughout the event.
Some of the booths and vendors that will be there are Miss Daisy’s Delights which is a local dog treat bakery, American Hidden Dog Fence, Fetch! Pet Care, Jax Pet Funeral Home and Pet Cemetery and Canine Companions for Independence. Don’t be surprised if there are dogs up for adoption, as the Jacksonville Humane Society, Papillon Pals Rescue, Inc. and Animal Control will all be there.
The event is set for the third Sunday of the month through August.

THE PLAYERS Downtown Experience
Attending THE PLAYERS Championship in Ponte Vedra can be difficult, since there’s a limited amount of space. But there is a way for you to participate in the THE PLAYERS experience, even if you can’t attend.
It all starts during the Art Walk in May and continues through May 10th. The Art Walk will have a definite golf theme and there will be events, games and activities tied to the tourney.
“It’s grown every year and has actually become a ‘best practices’ in the PGA,” says Nudge “So for events like this, other cities are looking at our event as a model for expanding…and incorporating other areas of the city in the golf tournament…It offers local folks an opportunity to get involved in the event.”
Since the Beaches hotels are packed for the event, it helps to have a place for the spillover crowd to stay. THE PLAYERS Downtown Experience, according to Nudge, helps to get whole families to vacation because of the range of activities available. “It allows a family to come in: dad goes to the tournament and mom and the kids have something to do here.”
The Landing will have a nine-hole mini golf course and the tournament will be playing on a Jumbotron screen outdoors on May 10th. Expect memorabilia, golf star autographs and games.

Jacksonville Jazz Festival
For the first time, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival (May 21-24) is set to be on the Downtown streets, as well as various indoor venues Downtown. The Landing’s stage will be one of the fest’s hotspots. It’ll be known as the Breezin’ Stage on the schedule. There will also be a Kid’s Area in the Landing driveway on Bay Street. See our map and events schedule on pages 10-13.

Sail Jacksonville
Sail Jacksonville doesn’t come around every year, but it’s quite an event when it does! This year it will be on May 29-31, centered on the Landing. Tall ships gather in the St. Johns next to the Landing.
There are plenty of events and booths for pirates and shipmates large and small. It remains one of the few events where you can wear a felt black eye patch.
Take a boat tour that leaves from the Landing or just sit and watch the pirate battle. Live entertainment, stuff for kids, practical seamanship and maritime history (local and otherwise) will all be part of the three-day celebration of the water and the tall ships that navigate it.