Outdoors

So Much More Than Folk Music—The Florida Folk Festival Offers a True Floridian Experience Over Memorial Day Weekend

Musicians at the Florida Folk Festival

Hang out beneath the pine trees, majestic Live Oak, and flowering Magnolias along the banks of the meandering Suwanee River while you take in all Florida has to offer. The largest art, music, and culture festival in the state is just around the corner and you’re invited. The 67th Annual , a three-day celebration spanning Memorial Day weekend, highlights the best of the state’s music, dance, stories, crafts, and food. With more than 300 scheduled performances and over 50 acres of festivities, this family-friendly event offers plenty of adventure. Come out for the music and stay for cultural experiences, great …

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Is the St. Johns River in Danger? Don’t Feed the Algae

St. Johns Riverkeeper, Algae in the St. Johns, Drayton Island

  Algae bloom season is already upon our St. Johns River. Since mid-April, St. Johns Riverkeeper has received dozens of reports from Lake George and Palatka and all the way to Jacksonville. Our team is saddened by the images flooding our communication channels of the green muck coating our River. This early start could potentially be a sign of worse blooms to come as sunny days, water temperatures, and rains continue to rise. Nutrients? Aren’t those good for the River? Algae blooms are visible symptoms of sickness and too much nutrient pollution in our waterways. Nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, are …

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A Bright Symphony of Colors: Joseph A. Strasser Butterfly Festival at Tree Hill Nature Center in Arlington

If there was ever a perfect symbol for spring, it’s a butterfly emerging from its winter slumber in a bright symphony of colors. At , the butterfly is more than just a symbol. It’s the centerpiece of the annual held April 27 at the nature preserve on Lone Star Road in . The community event offers a chance to connect with nature in a pristine setting where guests can stroll the wooded paths, enjoy homemade crafts, family-friendly activities and live music culminating in the release of hundreds of live butterflies. The butterfly release is held at 3pm, weather permitting. It’s …

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Local High School Student, Colin Harden, Wins Coveted Spot at Springing the Blues Festival in Jacksonville Beach

Growing up, multi-instrumentalist Colin Harden showed an early aptitude for music. The 16 year old started by plinking around on his grandmother’s basement piano and evolved into a classically trained pianist before he was of legal age to drive. “She figured for my seventh birthday she’d get me my first piano lesson,” he says. “Since then, I’ve just been playing music my entire life.” Harden now counts–literally he has to pause to tally the number–the piano, guitar, mandolin, drums, bass and ukulele among the instruments he plays. The teen will showcase his guitar skills on the s stage as the …

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Suwannee Spring Reunion: A Festival Turned Reunion in the Spirit of Community

When Beth and Randy Judy stepped into the music festival business over 20 years ago, they hoped to build more than a just brand. They wanted to create a community. The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is home to generations of families who have gathered year after year to experience that shared connection to the music and the commitment to the notion of something bigger than ourselves. “That was intentional from the beginning. We wanted an event that was like a lot of other events but we wanted a real community,” says Beth Judy. “When you have a community, …

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GastroFest + MOSH: It’s All About the Food

GastroFest 2019, Jacksonville, Florida, Friendship Fountain, MOSH, Museum of Science and History

GastroFest, which takes place on Saturday, March 23 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. at Friendship Fountain and The Museum of Science and History (MOSH), remains committed to their goal of giving the First Coast a food-oriented festival. “People come to GastroFest because they love food,” says GastroJax Executive Director Erin Thursby. She helped found the organization which runs Jacksonville’s annual premier food festival— GastroFest—in 2014. “We’re very selective about our restaurants, food trucks, and marketplace vendors. Even if they’re selling t-shirts or candles, they need to be food or beverage oriented.” She points to Hopcloth who is back at …

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Past and Present is Alive at Springing the Blues, Happening in Jacksonville Beach April 5-7

When you think of the rich landscape of blues history, palm trees and sandy beaches might not be the first place that springs to mind. is a distant cultural cousin of the birthplace of the blues, far removed by geography and tradition. Yet, there’s an inextricable current connecting the past and present that exists at the annual . It’s all part of the same story. The 29th Annual Springing the Blues Festival is held April 5-7 at the SeaWalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach with Danny Delves & the Deadly Nightshades kicking things off on the SeaWalk Pavilion stage. Weekend performances …

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MOSH’s New Backyard Adventures Inspires and Delights Young Scientists through May 12th

MOSH, Backyard Adventures, food pond

What’s in Your Backyard? When it comes to helping your child develop a passion for science, there’s no need to look farther than your own backyard. Though, perhaps it’s a bit more interesting to get started in a veritable garden of hands-on scientific experimentation and discovery at MOSH. Created by Australia’s Scitech and produced by Imagine Exhibitions, Backyard Adventures opened January 19th and welcomes young scientists to learn about the exciting world of wonders awaiting discovery outside. The exhibit runs through May 12, 2019. “MOSH is very deliberate about the traveling exhibitions we choose to bring to Jacksonville, and in …

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Lost in Paradise at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens: Meet Artist Carlos Rolón

Lost in Paradise at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens: Meet Artist Carlos Rolón

Drive along Downtown Jacksonville’s Riverside Avenue and it’s nearly impossible to miss the seven-foot-tall mosaic sculptures standing sentry in front of the . Chicago-based multi-disciplinary artist Carlos Rolón’s sculpture collection Lost in Paradise hints at home yet draws inspiration from the natural landscapes, architecture, and the parallel histories of Puerto Rico and the American South. They beckon one to stop and stay a while, promising stories deeply riveting. “Lost in Paradise deals with Diaspora and cultural identity and I’m really interested in how that works within the institution,” Rolón says, “For this body of work, one that began with my …

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The Little Circus That Could: The Venardos Circus Kicks Off in St. Augustine Dec 19-Jan 27

The Venardos Circus arrives at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre this holiday season to debut a brand-new show and kick off the 2019 season. But Kevin Venardos of never dreamed of running away to join the circus; he envisioned himself performing on Broadway. A New Jersey kid who loved to sing and dance, Venardos studied musical theater at school. “At 22 years old, I was in New York auditioning for everything people would pay me money to do,” he explains, “I happened upon this really incredible adventure just by chance or by fate. I got a job as a ringmaster when …

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