JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jazz Festival returned to downtown Jacksonville after the COVID-19 pandemic forced a one-year hiatus.
The event will take place at two different stages, including Riverfront Plaza and at Bay Street, featuring artists from around the world.
”To be able to listen to live music, be in person, and have that comradery again,” Paola Lorenzo, with the City of Jacksonville, said. “And share it right on the river with a beautiful view.”
The event kicked off with performances Friday starting at 4 p.m. and continuing until 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
This year’s Jazz Festival is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a bang Saturday night. Fireworks will light up the sky over Riverfront Plaza.
While the focus is jazz music, Lorenzo pointed out all arts will be present — including vendors and food, which suffered a difficult year during the pandemic.
MBellish by CharMega is one of the vendors set up at Riverfront Plaza. The owner, Charletta Green-McCoy, said she took a financial hit during the pandemic and is happy to be back.
”It put a little hit on us financially. But we’re coming back,” Green-McCoy said. “It’s so exciting! I’ve been up the past three days. I’m tired. But I’m a good tired because I was preparing for the event.”
The event draws in hundreds and while vendors are from around the world, some have roots right in Jacksonville.
The Croker is a graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts.
“I actually went to school with this guy — I was in band with him at Douglas Anderson,” Alex Deas said while she watched from the lawn at Bay Street.
This year will have a bag check and is gated, but still free for attendees. Vendors all have cashless options.
©2021 Cox Media Group