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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Dec. 4, 201901:00 PM EST

Cathedral District hosting inaugural Christmas church tour event

Event runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. tonight.
by: Katie Garwood Staff Writer

Five historic churches will open their doors for tours tonight as part of the inaugural Christmas in the Cathedral District event.

Visitors can see inside the Basilica of The Immaculate Conception Church, First United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville, Mount Zion AME Church, Simpson Memorial United Methodist Church and St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral. Docents will be in each church to explain its history and architecture to visitors. 

The tour is free and runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Transportation will be provided between churches, and visitors will hear Christmas music and choirs along the way. 

A “Bethlehem Market” is set up behind First United Methodist Church along Church Street.

There will be children’s activities; a petting zoo; live Nativity scene; a “Bethlehem Market” selling handmade crafts, gifts, jewelry and baked goods; a food truck court; and a bar serving the District Christmas cocktail, beer and wine. 

Cathedral District-Jax, a nonprofit dedicated to redeveloping the 36-block area in Downtown Jacksonville, is hosting the event. The district is bound by State, Adams, Main and Liberty streets. The tour also includes the Elena Flats housing restoration.

“It’s to build community in the Cathedral District,” said Ginny Myrick, president and CEO of Cathedral District Jax. “We are leveraging our five great assets – our historic churches.”

Myrick said similar events may be planned, depending on the results of this one. She said she expects 500 to 1,000 people to attend.

Workers set up signs in front of St. John's Episcopal Church.
A sign points to the next destination in front of First United Methodist Church.
The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is one of five churches on the tour.


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