Boats and fireworks light up the night; celebration continues through Dec. 22
Fireworks light up the Downtown skies during the annual Jacksonville Light Boat Parade and Fireworks Spectacular.
When the 29th annual Jacksonville Light Boat Parade and Fireworks Spectacular began Saturday night, illuminated vessels of all sizes and types were lined up from Metropolitan Park to the Main Street Bridge.

When the parade ended, fireworks launched from two barges lit up the sky above the St. Johns River.

The event was part of Downtown’s kickoff for the holiday season that also included the lighting of the Christmas tree at the Landing Friday and Chanukah at the Landing on Sunday.

Also at the Landing, the Holiday on the River Concert and Dance Series begins at 11 a.m. today with midday and evening performances by more than 100 local arts groups scheduled through Dec. 22.

For more details about the daily lineup, visit jacksonvillelanding.com.

Spark Grant songwriter program debuts during Art Walk
The Jacksonville Songwriter Residency, a Spark Grant project of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, will present a songwriter showcase at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Florida Theatre lobby.

The premier performer is Minnesota musician and songwriter David Dondero.

The Jacksonville Songwriter Residency is one of four projects that received funding from the Cultural Council’s Spark Grant Program. The projects will activate the Spark District, the urban core of Jacksonville targeted for revitalization through arts and culture experiences.

The project’s mission is to grow Downtown’s music community by bringing professional songwriters from around the world to live, compose and perform in the Spark District. Each songwriter resident will utilize Downtown venues for public performances and collaborate with local songwriters to build on Jacksonville’s rich musical history.

The Jacksonville Songwriter Residency is managed by local musician and Spark Grant recipient Brad Lauretti. He is the host for the Gram Parsons Guitar Pull Songwriting Contest in Waycross, Ga., and is employed as the resident artist for the Underbelly entertainment venue.

Lauretti also leads the songwriting efforts for his band This Frontier Needs Heroes.

The Omni Jacksonville Hotel has signed on as a partner with the Jacksonville Songwriter Residency and will provide lodging for the first resident.

“As the first Jacksonville Songwriter Residency musician, David will be playing around town, writing songs and even recording one of them in the Spark District,” Lauretti said. “It’s been fun watching the excitement this project is generating in the community, and I look forward to bring more world-class songwriters to Jacksonville and see how the project develops.”

The Jacksonville Songwriter Residency is funded by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, with support from The Florida Theatre and the Omni Jacksonville Hotel.

Monday, Dec. 2
Holiday on the River Concert & Dance Series
(Through Dec. 22)
11 a.m.
The Landing

Tuesday, Dec. 3
Downtown "Top to Bottom" Walking Tour
10 a.m.
The Landing

Michael W. Smith with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra
8 p.m.
Times-Union Center

Wednesday, Dec. 4
First Wednesday Art Walk
5-9 p.m.
Hemming Plaza

Backstage Tour
6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m.
The Florida Theatre

Thursday, Dec. 5
Downtown "Top to Bottom" Walking Tour
10 a.m.
The landing

Sound Effects: Music at MOCA
7 p.m.
Museum of Contemporary Art

Spoken Word
7 p.m.
The Ritz Theatre

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans
8:25 p.m.
EverBank Field

Friday, Dec. 6
$5 Friday
10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Museum of Science & History

2013 Art & Antiques Show
11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Prime Osborn Convention Center

Holiday at St. James
4 p.m.
City Hall and Hemming Plaza

Jacksonville Giants vs. Birmingham Blitz
7 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Arena

Cheap Trick in Concert
7:30 p.m.
The Florida Theatre

Amateur Night at the Ritz
7:30 p.m.
The Ritz Theatre
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