Mayor John Delaney will kick off Festival Downtown Friday with the opening of the new $34 million Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. The day will include a softball game at noon between city officials and members of the media. The celebration will continue until 8:30 p.m. with children’s activities, self-guided tours and other free festivities for the public.
“The opening of the ballpark is a great way to highlight all the improvements in downtown,” said Delaney. “The public supported The Better Jacksonville Plan and now its time to celebrate the opening of the first major downtown construction project under the Plan.”
Festival Downtown is a two-month long celebration of festivals, family and cultural events designed to draw people to the downtown area.
Festival Downtown 2003 runs from Friday through May 26.
Here is a list of highlights:
2003 Kick-Off Party
Friday-Saturday. Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
Bank of America
Saturday. Metro Park. Three rides, including a 15-mile San Marco course, a 10-mile Riverside course and a 5-mile Jacksonville Urban course.
The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville Arts Awards Luncheon
Tuesday. T-U Center. The luncheon celebrates Jacksonville’s cultural community and recognizes leaders in the arts.
Jacksonville Jazz Festival
April 10-13. Multiple venues, including Metropolitan Park, the Landing and the Ritz Theatre and LaVilla Museum.
April 11, 7:35 p.m. Tickets from $5.50 to $15.50.
Mixed Media Art Festival
April 11-12. 9th and Main streets in historic Springfield. The festival will feature a reception on Friday night and two days of film, dance and visual arts.
Blessing of the Fleet
April 13. Northbank Riverfront Park.
I Will Praise Him Concert
April 17, 7 p.m. Ritz Theatre. The Ritz Voices and Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir featured soloist Damaris Carbaugh present I Will Praise Him — an Evening of Worship and Praise.
Night at the Ritz
April 18, 7:30 p.m. Ritz Theatre.
April 19. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Landing. More than 75 educational and informational booths from government agencies, environmental offices, and environmentally friendly companies.
FCCJ Artist Series Broadway in Jacksonville
April 15-20. T-U Center. Cathy Rigby in “Seussical the Musical.”
Brown Bag Lunch
Concerts at Florida Ballet
April 22 and 24, 12:10 - 12:50 p.m. Bring your own lunch and enjoy a mid-day ballet performance. $2.
World of Nations Celebration
April 24-27. Metro Park. More than 40 countries represented.
Art After Dark
April 25. Florida Theatre. A premiere showcase for the works of emerging visual artists that includes an art exhibition and sale, featuring a dozen First Coast artists working in several different media. Tickets are $12
Art Opening and Show
April 25. Brooklyn Center for the Arts. Multi-media exhibit featuring local artists and performers.
Hard Hat Loft Tour
April 26, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Tour of downtown residential living options, including lofts and condominiums.
April 26. Florida Theatre. Offers an array of dance pieces from classical to contemporary.
Players Spring Concert
April 28. T-U Center.
An Evening of Spoken Word
May 1. Ritz Theatre.
Amateur Night at the Ritz
May 2. Ritz Theatre.
Jacksonville Museum of
Modern Art Grand
May 2-4. JMOMA will re-open its renovated space and new galleries with a ticketed reception on May 2.
May 2 and first Friday of every month. 4:30 - 8 p.m. Hemming Plaza.
Jax Pride presents Art
Belongs in Public Places
May 2, 1-5:30 p.m. Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art and Hemming Plaza. A free event for the public to explore public art and understand its importance to a creative city.
Dedication and Lighting
May 3, 6 p.m. Northbank Riverwalk. Dedication of commissioned sculpture memorializing Jacksonville’s great fire and the city’s rise from the devastation.
City’s Appreciation Event: Thank You Jacksonville
May 3, 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Berkman Plaza. A public event hosted by the City in appreciation to all those who have volunteered on City boards, commissions, councils and served the city in other ways.
Ben Harper in concert
May 7, 8 p.m. Florida Theatre. Ben Harper is part classic singer/songwriter and part blues revivalist.
May 9, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Osborn Center.
Starry Nights, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra
May 10. Metro Park.
Ritz Voices Spring Concert
May 10, 7:30 p.m. Ritz Theatre
Place Open House
May 17, 1 - 4 p.m. Preview the Shipyards project and enjoy a barbecue lunch on the river.
Jacksonville Film Festival
May 16-18. multiple venues. A three-day film festival featuring numerous downtown venues showing independent films, shorts, historical and documentary films.
May 16-18. downtown riverfront. The three-day festival will include a variety of activities that will feature our scenic riverfront, including in-the-water events, such as the Parade of Sail, land-side demonstrations and events including boat building, port operations, music, seamanship demonstrations and performance artists
Project River Tour
May 17-18. Downtown riverfront. Experience one of the largest and most unique urban park systems on a river tour leaving from downtown.
Spring Home Tour
May 17-18. A ticketed tour of Springfield’s historic homes.
Spring Music Festival
May 24. Metro Park
May 24-25. A. Philip Randolph Park