Calling all acoustic players – there’s a new event going on at the Walter Jones Historical Park. On the 4th Sunday of every month, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm, come join your neighbors for an informal sing-along on the front porch of the Museum. The gathering is hosted by the Mandarin Museum and Historical Society in partnership with the North Florida Folk Network, and will run through October.
When I attended last Sunday (without my guitar, ukelele, or dulcimer), the group had just moved inside due to the threat of rain and was happily singing “Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore”. So dust off that instrument and join in. See you next month!
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 arrives at his Birthday party
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 JacksonvilleBeach.org.
Ready to Ride offers guided bike tours in Jacksonville’s Riverside/Avondale, San Marco, Olde Mandarin, Springfield neighborhoods and more! Everything is provided, including Trek bikes, helmets, water and snacks. I chose the San Marco tour – an 11-mile ride that included parts of the Southbank Riverwalk, historic San Marco Square, and tree-lined streets along the St. Johns River.
Here’s our group at Treaty Oak
My bike’s name was “Glad”, and I was glad I was given that bike to ride, because it was so comfortable! The 3 hours passed quickly. Leigh, our leader, was a wealth of information, as we stopped at at points of interest along the way. I was amazed at how much I learned about the community. A wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning!
For more information visit the Ready to Ride website (e2ride.com) or call 904-945-1571.
Yikes! Dinosaurs have also returned to the Museum of Science & History. Travel back in time 65 million years in this interactive Be the Dinosaur:Life in the Cretaceous exhibit. State of the art video game technology takes you back 65 million years in time and even allows you to take control of your very own dinosaur.
There are other dino-centered activities, including family dino day, a dino-tastic camp, lectures and more. And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out the Planetarium, where the current show is Sea Monsters. More information at www.themosh.org.
Dinosaurs have returned to the Jacksonville Zoo. See 21 life-size, life-like dinosaurs and experience the prehistoric world like you’ve never seen it before. Nestled in trees along a winding dirt trail, these creatures move and roar. You’ll think you’ve come to Jurassic Park!
Dino-Trek will be at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens through June 30th. There is a small fee in addition to Zoo admission. For more information visit dinotrekjaxzoo.org.
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 www.sparcouncil.org or call (904) 353-7727.
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!
That’s right – George’s Music offers FREE introductory learn to play classes just about every Saturday. Do you have an old guitar or banjo in your attic? Or perhaps you’ve purchased an instrument and a couple books and just haven’t gotten around to figuring out what to do with them. Well, George’s is a great place to start.
George’s Music is the Musicians Superstore. With stores on Blanding Boulevard near I-295, and on A-1-A in Jax Beach, George’s offers a wide selection of instruments and musical supplies. If you don’t have an instrument and are not sure what you’d like to learn to play, they’ll even loan you one for the free class!
Classes are offered at various levels for guitar, mandolin, ukelele, banjo and more. Check their schedule at George’s Music and be sure to call to register. I promise you will have a great time and leave knowing how to play a new tune!
Matt Ostler instructs a group of students on the art of playing a guitar finger-style at George’s Music
Ride what? Yes, today’s blog is about the bus. When was the last time you rode a bus? Have you ever ridden a bus in Jacksonville? (Shuttles to the Jaguar’s games don’t count).
For me, the answer to this last question was “no”, and perhaps this is why I waited so long to complete the Public Transportation series. But faced with a 6-hour wait in Baymeadows while my car was being detailed, I decided to catch a bus headed to town.
A couple things I learned on this adventure:
- Fares are $1.50, and exact change is required
- A bus can get you just about anywhere in Jacksonville
- The trip was comfortable and convenient
- SENIORS RIDE FREE!
So, next time you’re thinking about driving the car, consider checking out the bus options. Information is available at the Jacksonville Transportation Authority website. More about my visit to town in a future article.