Season Opens with the Great Atlantic Seafood Festival
Saturday, March 18th marked the beginning of the Jax Beach '06 festival season with the 16th Annual Great Atlantic Seafood and Music Festival. After a beautiful week of temps in the upper 70's, Saturday saw a shift in winds from the North East, dropping temperatures into the upper 60's. Not to matter, the sunny skies brought the masses out in droves to the Seawalk Pavilion for a day of music fun and food.
At center stage, people were dancing to the music from 12 to 10 with a variety of live bands playing everything from funk to rap, blues, jazz, and just good ole rock and roll. Fusebox Funk delighted festival goers with their own style of rap and funk, and then went over to Freebird Live to do another set that night. Jacksonville's favorite Woody and the Peckers performed a set of old and new rock, belting out favorites such as Beatle's tune I Saw Her Standing There, and I Got a Line on You by Spirit. Young and old alike laid out and frolicked on the grass all day long enjoying tunes from every genre.
Over at the Food Court, the star of the show was the massive amounts of fresh Florida seafood. Grouper, Mahi, shrimp, crawfish and calamari - prepared in a variety of ways from Cajun to Greek, to just plain old Florida style cookin'. Something for everybody, even the non seafood lovers could enjoy the Florida Bar-B-Q at the Sticky Fingers booth. Long lines of hungry festival goers couldn't seem to get enough of the bountiful Florida fruit of the sea!
Fun for all ages, the playground area across from the food court had a really fun bunji jumping ride and a very tall rock climbing wall for the young adventurers. In the other corner were the inflatables just for the toddlers, with Superman standing guard.
Making your way back to the stage was also a treat, with booths lined up four wide and manned by vendors from all over the south and the Caribbean islands. Arts and crafts of all kinds from handcrafted wood carvings of fish and other animals, to the colorful Reggae fashions from Jamaica. Jewelry, T-shirts, sunglasses from Ocean Wave, and all kinds of ornaments and unusual stuff filled the booths all the way back to First Street.
A great way to start the spring, the Great Atlantic Seafood and Music Festival was once again a huge success.
Coming up on the first weekend in April at the Seawalk Pavilion is the mother of all beaches festivals. Three days of music, food and fun, the 16th Annual George's Music Springing the Blues Festival starts on March 31st. Blues bands from all over the country perform to the delight of 40,000+ festival goers. Other events at the three day festival include a 5k run, a surfing contest, and a bike ride for cancer research, as well as some after hours jam sessions in some local clubs.
The oceanfront Seawalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach is a two block area where people come to lay out and play in the grass. Events are scheduled throughout the year including festivals, live concerts, and a moonlight movie series during the summer months. A destination for the people of Jacksonville and the Beaches, visitors to our area should definitely put one of these events on their list of things to do!