Riverfront light, sound show could come to downtown Jacksonville

A synchronized riverfront light and sound show could be coming to downtown Jacksonville.

According to City Councilwoman Lori Boyer’s presentation during a city Tourist Development Council meeting, the show would involve Friendship Fountain and its surrounding park, the Acosta Bridge, the Main Street Bridge, and the riverfront-facing side of the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts.

Those riverfront landmarks attract joggers and families during the day, but the city wants to provide people with more to do downtown at night.

“It’s such a beautiful space, it seems like a real shame not to be able to take advantage of it. I mean, we do have all this water and all this real estate, but it seems underutilized,” said Maria Canapa, who lives and works in Jacksonville.

City leaders have asked Jacksonville-based Miller Electric to team up with Moment Factory, a company that creates dazzling displays all over the world.

Within the next few months, the companies will create a proposal, coordinating lights that already exist on the Main Street Bridge and lights the city plans to install during restoration of Friendship Fountain.

“It’d be nice to have something else, something new,” said Canapa.

Jacksonville native Piper Austin said she’s concerned it could cause traffic downtown.

“I think it’s better less crowded. The less traffic, the better. But I guess, economically, it would help out,” said Austin.

Tax dollars would fund the project, in part from tourist development funds and the Capital Improvement Project.

Boyer told Action News Jax the light projections are a cheaper option than fountain shows or fireworks.

Boyer said she does not want to move forward with the project unless the city can afford maintenance, on top of the cost of installation.

The light and sound show would be tied into a project renovating the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts.