Jennifer Melville

Jennifer Melville is a contributing writer for EU Jacksonville, South Magazine, Folio Magazine, Green Prints, Focus on the Family, and various other print and online publications. She’s a military wife, mother of four, and a leader in the NE Florida homeschooling community. You can check out more of her work on her website, Azalea Publications or follow her on Twitter.
Phantoms of the First Coast: The Faces Behind NE Florida’s Most Haunted Tours

Phantoms of the First Coast: The Faces Behind Northeast Florida’s Most Haunted Tours

With several thousand years of civilization under its belt, the First Coast has experienced its share of trials and tribulation. Ghosts are big business for the curious and thrill-seekers alike, and October’s reprieve from the oppressive heat puts many in the mood for a haunted history lesson. One need not look far to find a ghost tour. As you board a trolley or prepare to walk along darkened cobblestone streets, consider for a moment the storyteller’s tale. Four local haunted tour guides shared their story and personal experiences with EU Jacksonville. Whether you’re a supernatural enthusiast or a diehard skeptic, …

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Hop Aboard the St. Mary’s Halloween Express for a Fun Family Adventure

If you’re looking for a unique and kid-friendly Halloween excursion just an hour or so from Jacksonville, venture north to coastal Georgia for a memorable adventure on the St. Mary’s Railroad. There’s just one more weekend of Halloween Express excursions left, so don’t wait too long to book your seats. Guests load into three open-air cars for a journey through woodlands and over marshlands. Midway through the ride, the train stops so guests can vote for their favorite Halloween monster. Who will be the king or queen of the Monster Ball: Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, or the Wicked Witch of …

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World War II Jets Send a Sky-High Message: GEICO Skytypers to Debut New Flight Demonstration at 2018 NAS Jacksonville Air Show

World War II Jets Send Sky-High Message: GEICO Skytypers to Debut at NAS Jacksonville Air Show

The World-Famous GEICO Skytypers Air Show Team will roar into Jacksonville later this month to wow crowds with an entirely new flight demonstration at the 2018 Air Show (October 27-28). The squadron of aircraft will participate in a full weekend of jaw-dropping exhibitions showcasing both civilian and military aviators. The ’s famous provide the grand finale, but the entire weekend is jam-packed with talented teams and champion pilots from across the country.     For Flight Lead Larry Arken, skytyping is the family business and something he’s been doing his entire life. His father, retired Naval Aviator Mort Arken, established …

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Marie Marfia’s Quirky Skeleton Art is Spookily Delightful

The First Coast is a Great Place to Spend Eternity “Skeletons…. We all have them. What I like about them is that they’re fearless. They do whatever they want because the worst thing that could happen to them has clearly already happened to them,” laughs Michigan artist , creator of the quirky “Greetings from St. Augustine” series. If you’ve spent time in the Ancient City, you’ve likely seen her work. It’s hard to forget. Marfia, a graphic designer of 30 years, started experimenting with pastels in 2011 when her family was living in Jacksonville. Some of her early pieces—landscapes, buildings, …

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'Newsies' on a Mission: The Island Theater’s Take on a Broadway Classic Delights and Entertains Theatergoers of All Ages, Photos by Gabby Blasco

‘Newsies’ on a Mission: The Island Theater’s Take on a Broadway Classic Delights and Entertains Theatergoers of All Ages

With high-energy songs by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, an uplifting underdog story, and a rousing local cast,  is utterly delightful. Based on a 1992 Disney movie starring Christian Bale as well as the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899, Newsies runs at The Island Theater from October 4-14th (Fri. & Sat. 7:30 PM; Sat. & Sun. 2 PM). Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Admissions cost $15/ adult and $10/ student. Plan ahead, because shows are popular and sell out. If you’re not familiar with the plot, Newsies is the ultimate David and Goliath tale. Jack Kelly, …

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Pumpkin Time, EU Jacksonville, Fall Family Fun in Northeast Florida, Pumpkins, Spooks, & Fall Festivals: Halloween Family Fun in Northeast Florida

Pumpkins, Spooks, & Fall Festivals: Halloween Family Fun in Northeast Florida

Top 5 Destinations for Pumpkins and Fall Family Fun in Northeast Florida BY JENNIFER MELVILLE Homes all around Jacksonville are decked out with fall décor both traditional and terrifying. Weekends are jam-packed with festivals. Pumpkin spice permeates the air. It’s October! Our leaves may still be green and our temperatures tropical, but we know how to celebrate. For many, it’s time to reminisce times gone by and create meaningful memories with the special young people in one’s life. It’s the season for finding the perfect pumpkin, getting lost in a corn maze, and enjoying some good, old-fashioned fun. No matter …

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Saved by the Smallest of Them All: Orange Park Community Theater Delights Crowds with Seussical the Musical

Theater-goers packed Orange Park Community Theater on Sunday, September 16th for a rousing rendition of Seussical the Musical, the first production of the theater’s 49th season. Whimsical and entertaining, Seussical inspired a heartfelt standing ovation and lifted the spirits of young and old alike. Directed by , the musical runs from August 31-September 30th. The show features local talent and took about 2 ½ months of dedicated work to prepare for opening. “This show has had me excited,” Green says, “It’s such a fabulous group of people to work with and I just love them.” Seussical the Musical is a …

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Dancing to the Beat of Her Marimba: Dr. Andrea Venet Debuts New Percussion Compositions at UNF Fine Arts Center World Premiere

Dancing to the Beat of Her Marimba: Dr. Andrea Venet Debuts New Percussion Compositions at UNF Fine Arts Center World Premiere

Energetic, engaging, and entertaining. Assistant Professor of Percussion Dr. Andrea Venet captivated audiences at the UNF School of Music Recital Hall Friday, September 7th with her world premier performance of three original musical compositions. Crafting a careful ballet of mallets, Venet poured herself into her music heart and soul. Brandishing two sticks in each hand, this vibrant marimba master mesmerized the crowd from the first strike. Venet began the evening with a marimba solo written by Steve Ridley, a musical tale of two dueling pirate captains who fought each other to the death, so impassioned with their hatred that they …

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Fishing the First Coast: Jacksonville and Northeast Florida are a Fisherman’s Paradise

10 Facts About Fishing in Florida

Florida is a killer place to cast a line. In addition to 4 million resident anglers, approximately 2 million people visit Florida to fish annually. Fishing is a multi-billion dollar industry. From major tournaments to laid-back fishing along the , there’s a bit of something for every taste and talent. Here are 10 facts you should know before you catch fish in Florida. If you’re 16-65, you need a freshwater fishing license. For those under 16 or developmentally disabled, a license is not required. Florida residents 65+ qualify for a free Senior Citizen Hunting and Fishing Certificate. For those ages …

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USS Klakring family_US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Marcus L. Stanley

Finding Home: Military Relocation and Retirement on the First Coast

It’s moving season. Each summer, approximately 200,000 military families relocate from their current duty station to their next set of orders. May 15-August 31 is peak PCS (Permanent Change of Station) season, with 65% of military moves occurring during this timeframe. The local impact is huge. Northeast Florida’s military presence is the third largest in the country, with area military installations like Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Naval Station Mayport, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Naval Aviation Depot Jacksonville, Marine Corps Support Facility Blount Island, and Camp Blanding Joint Training Center. Each year, thousands of military families relocate to our area. …

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