Lifestyle

Blues Is My Destiny: James Armstrong at Springing the Blues

Blues music is the exquisite exhalation of struggle and pain paired with the harmonious howl of survival and redemption. Singer, songwriter and guitarist is the living embodiment of that balance. When he first found his stride in the blues world, Armstrong knew he was fulfilling his destiny. Playing the blues was his birthright and nothing was going to keep him from that. James Armstrong will perform Sunday on the main stage at the held April 7-9 in Jacksonville Beach. During a recent European tour stop in Belgium, Armstrong spoke to EU Jacksonville about overcoming a tragic past and fighting back …

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Fest-Life: 27th annual Springing the Blues Festival April 7-9 at the SeaWalk Pavilion

Each spring in Jacksonville Beach the days grow longer, the weather gets warmer, and the spirit of the blues blankets the oceanfront with three days of blistering live performances. The 27th annual Springing the Blues Festival is held April 7-9 at the SeaWalk Pavilion (www.springingtheblues.com). Touted as one of the industry’s most sought after festivals, Springing the Blues has evolved from a single day event with six hours of music to a three-day extravaganza spotlighting the best in the blues. This year, the lineup features everything from up and coming artists to Grammy nominated artists, including Coco Montoya, Albert Cummings, …

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GastroFest 2017 is coming to Hemming Park March 18th!

GastroFest, Downtown Jacksonville, Florida, Food Festival

GastroFest 2017 Program Mark Your Calendars for March 18, 2017 from 11am-7pm in Hemming Park, because GastroFest is back and better than ever! GastroFest celebrates Northeast Florida food culture! In both 2015 and 2016, more than 30,000 people came out each year to Hemming Park. This year’s GastroFest will feature some great tastes from area restaurants ($1-3), a homebrew competition, locally brewed beer, chef demos, informative talks, and more. “Gastrofest puts our brand and product right at the center of the most happening, well-attended, food-related festival event in Jax.” – Charlotte Tzabari, Co-Owner GastroFest is a cash based food and …

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On the River: Activate the St. Johns River

BY SHANNON BLANKINSHIP, Outreach Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper The St. Johns River is huge. The biggest river in Florida, it drains nearly a sixth of the state. Most of us only know a small part of the river: the section right in front of us. This month, is working with partners from the headwaters to the mouth to create opportunities for you to explore this incredible river and get your feet wet somewhere new. The 2017 Save the St. Johns: Activate the River project highlights the local businesses and partners who are doing great work along the entire river. We …

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Saturiwa Trading Company: A Mobile Market

Imagine a market that pops up around town. Setting up fresh fruits and veggies, delicious local honey, and other great products…and then disappears. Only to be found again, at a new location, later that week. That dream is the reality of the , a mobile market that is the latest addition to Jacksonville’s local food scene. You’ll find at the head of this new venture, and if you haven’t met him you’re missing out. Stowers isn’t new to the food culture here in JAX. He’s been providing hard to find food items for 20 years for chefs in the city. …

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Creative Spaces: Michael and Christie Leach of Bee Friends Farm

Christie and Michael Leach of Bee Friends Farm

When he was sixteen years old, an employer advised beekeeper to quit his job every five years. “Incidentally, that’s what’s happened,” says Leach. Yet the bee business seems to stick. These days, he’s on his third year of the honey product development side of with his wife, Christie, and their three children. Bee Friends produces over a dozen unique varieties of honey. Their most commonly harvested products include gallberry honey, a berry native to Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia, and wildflower honey. Over time, Christie has developed and perfected Bee Friends Farm’s spreadable creamed honey flavors, including Chocolate (destined for …

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Celebrating 16 years of the Joseph A. Strasser Butterfly Festival!

On Saturday, April 29th from 10am to 4pm, will hold , and everyone is invited! Here are some of the details you need to know about the event: Why should I attend? This isn’t an easy one to answer, since there are so many great reasons to come to the Festival! Each year, Tree Hill welcomes local vendors who are selling lots of goodies, ranging from local honey and goat milk soap to jewelry and fairy wands! Local groups come out to spread the word on their work, ranging from solar energy and backyard chicken keeping to outdoor adventurers. Every …

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Limelight Theatre celebrates 25 years of community theatre in St. Augustine

Limelight Theatre is celebrating 25 years of community theatre in St. Augustine and St. Johns County during its 2016-17 season, which opened in September with the musical Oklahoma!, and continues with six more month-long productions on two stages. A Florida premier of Hedda Gabler is on stage through Feb 19. Other shows on stage during the 25th season are The Mystery of Irma Vep, I Ought To Be In Pictures (“the very first play presented by Limelight 25 years ago,” says Scott Bartosch, the President of Limelight’s Board of Directors), The Nance, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. …

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Who is Kesha? The Jacksonville Public Library and the Black Female Experience

#whoiskesha, Jax Makerspace, Jacksonville Public Library, photos by Hurley Winkler

When she first conceived the idea for the Kesha exhibit, Arts and Culture Developer, Shawana Brooks recalls asking herself, “What would it take to showcase artists that lived here in Jacksonville and resource their abilities back to the community? What would it take to execute creative and collaborative art exhibitions that had a strong position on learning in all dimensions?” Through her curation of 14 black female artists, Brooks developed Kesha as a representation of the black female experience attached to one female name. She strives to explore society’s consistent erasure of the black female through “high quality contemporary work …

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Native Sun Celebrates 20 Years as Jacksonville’s Homegrown Organic Grocer

Twenty years ago, Jacksonville didn’t provide many options for people looking for organic and natural foods. A husband and wife team saw an opportunity to fill that void by launching a business that would become a homegrown success story. Jacksonville’s leading chain of locally owned and operated natural foods stores, , celebrates its 20th Anniversary at 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 18 at its , , and locations Owners opened the original Native Sun Natural Foods Market at 10000 San Jose Blvd in February of 1997. As a Jacksonville native, Aaron recognized the city’s need for natural and organic foods, turning …

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