Category Archives: Festivals & Events

Tonca’s Birthday – Part 2

Here are some more photos from Tonca’s 47th birthday party Saturday, July 13th at the Museum of Science and History in Jacksonville, Florida. Tonca is a snapping alligator turtle who was rescued from a drainage ditch in Mandarin in 1998, and has enjoyed living at the MOSH museum ever since.

Tonca's Birthday Cake

Tonca’s Birthday Cake – for human’s only!

Tonca arrives at the party!

Tonca arrives at the party!

Tonca has fallen asleep...

Looks like Tonca has fallen asleep…

Time for Tonca's annual examination

Time for Tonca’s annual examination
He weighed 174 lbs!

Say ahhhhh

Say ahhhhh

The party's over

The party’s over

Tonca is glad to return to his home in the nature pond.

Tonca is glad to return to his home in the nature pond.




Wish Tonca a Happy Birthday at MOSH

Tonca is a beloved snapping alligator turtle at Jacksonville’s Museum of Science and History (MOSH,) and today is his 47th birthday! Tonca has been at the museum since 1994 when he was rescued from a drainage ditch in Mandarin. Most of the time, Tonca swims happily in the natural pond at the museum, but each year on his birthday, Tonca is lifted out of the pond for his party.

Festivities last from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm and include donuts from Dunkin Donuts (for the people – not Tonca who is on a strict diet!).  The highlight of the day will be at 1:30 when Tonca is hoisted from the pond, is weighed and receives his physical examination.

More information is on the MOSH website.  Update – Here is a picture taken today.  More pictures will follow!

Tonca's Birthday

Tonca arrives at his Birthday party

July 4th Weekend Activities

Happy July 4th!  There’s lots of activities, starting this evening.  Tonight, the River City Band Satin Swing will perform an outdoor patriotic concert in the Cummer Museum Gardens.  Bring a chair or blanket.  Admission is $10 for members; $20 non-members.  To make a reservation (required), call 904-899-6004.

This Saturday from 10-4, enjoy free Cummer admission, compliments of the Weaver family.  While you’re there, take a moment to walk next door to the Riverside Arts Market, or check out Community First Saturday downtown.

Family-friendly activities begin downtown at 4:00 July 4th at at Jacksonville Landing and continue along the Northbank and Southbank Riverwalks.  At 9:45 a spectacular fireworks show will light up downtown.  For more information, visit the City of Jacksonville website.

Fireworks also return to the beach! Stars and Stripes at the Seawalk feature fireworks and a free concert by Craig Campbell.  For more information, visit

Historic Springfield Home & Garden Tour

The 35th annual Spring Home and Garden Tour, organized by the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council will take place this weekend, June 1-2.  Springfield was established in 1869 and is one of three federally designated historic districts in Jacksonville.  This year’s tour features five turn-of-the-century homes, three gardens,  a historic home now a family business, and St. Mary’s Chapel, built in 1912.

Hours are from 1-5 and tickets may be purchased at the door for $15.  Check in at City Kidz Cafe, 1303 N. Main Street.  For more information or to purchase advance tickets visit or call (904) 353-7727.

Foto Friday

A big yellow duck has come to Hemming Park for One Spark Jacksonville!

One Spark Jacksonville

Sculpture on display in Hemming Park at One Spark Jacksonville

For 5 days, April 17-21, One Spark  lights up downtown Jacksonville.  One Spark gives creators, artists , entrepreneurs and innovators a venue to showcase their work.  And there’s $250,000 to be distributed based on public vote.

You’ll enjoy speakers, food, music and entertainment.  So come downtown and join  the festivities!

Foto Friday

The RE/MAX hot air balloon taking off at a Children’s Miracle Network fundraising event in Jacksonville, Florida.

First Wednesday Art Walk

Downtown Jacksonville comes alive each month at the popular First Wednesday Art Walk.  The event, held rain or shine from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm,  spans a 15 block radius in the core downtown area.  Over 30 galleries, museums and other cultural venues, restaurants, bars and businesses participate each month.

Hemming Plaza is a good place to start.  There you can pick up a map and check out the open-air artists in the plaza.  And when you are tired of walking, enjoy a free concert at the comfortable Hicks Auditorium at the Main library.  Programs vary, many featuring outstanding local musicians, and usually begin at 7:00 pm.

Best of all, the event and library performances are FREE!

Main Street at the First Wednesday Art Walk

Foto Friday – Mega Adoption Event

This adorable puppy is going to his new, forever home  – just in time for the holidays!

Photo taken at the “Home for the Holidays” Adoption event at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds, where over 1,000 dogs and cats will be looking for forever homes.  The event continues December 1st and 2nd.  More photos below:

Morton Perry, playing his soprano sax,  enchants a newly adopted dog.

An adoptable dog silently pleads “take me, take me”  at the “Home for the Holidays” adoption event in Jacksonville, Florida.

Cuddly kitties await their forever homes at the “Home for the Holidays” Adoption Event in Jacksonville, Florida.  Maybe someone will take both these best friends!



Home for the Holidays Mega-Adoption

First Coast No More Homeless Pets, Jacksonville Animal care and Control,  and the Jacksonville Humane Society and at least 15 other animal rescue groups are  once again teaming up to offer over 1,000 dogs, cats, puppies and kittens up for adoption.  “Home for the Holidays” will take place downtown at the Fairgrounds this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (December 2-4, 2012).  It is said to be the largest pet adoption event in the nation.

Last year’s event was so popular, that 946 pets were adopted, and we ran out of adoptable dogs and cats by the 3rd day.  This year, if the 1,000 pets are adopted, more animals will be brought in.  Having  volunteered at the event last year,  I  can testify that there are many amazing pets in shelters just waiting and hoping for loving homes.

Special thanks go out to two of our sponsors – Best Friends Animal Society and PetSmart Charities.  Through their support, Jacksonville is well on its way to becoming a no-kill city by 2014, or sooner.  I hope you’ll come out to this event and that these wonderful dogs and cats will find loving, forever homes.

Pictures coming later on Foto Friday.