Fourth Annual City-Wide JaxParks Festival March 27-29

March 24, 2009  

The City of Jacksonville, JaxParks, invites residents and visitors alike to explore, experience and participate in the abundant activities at the 2009 JaxParks… Get Out There! Festival, March 27-29.

This is the fourth year that JaxParks, the nations largest urban park system, has hosted this event. The festival includes eight special events: Super Celebration Kickoff! (featuring the United States' longest running Kite Festival), The Old Mandarin Biathlon, River Celebration Day!, Kids Kampus Survivor, Tour de Riverwalk, Yoga Along the River with Padma, Get Out There! Bicycle Ride, and Wild on the Westside. The weekend of activity will provide an opportunity for all ages and interests to explore just a sample of more than 300 Jacksonville parks.

All events and activities are open to the public and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Some events may require advance registration. (See complete listing below.)

JaxParks…Get Out There! is sponsored by the City of Jacksonville, CBS47/FOX 30, the American Heart Association, Black Creek Outfitters, Champion Cycle, the Duval County Health Department, the Florida Park Service, the Mandarin Museum and Historical Society, McCall Services, Preservation Project Jacksonville and The St. Johns Riverkeeper.

For more information on this or any other JaxParks event or facility, call (904) 630-CITY or visit

JaxParks…Get Out There! Events


The 'Old Mandarin' Biathlon
7:30–9 a.m., Saturday, March 28
Walter Jones Historical Park, 11964 Mandarin Road
Call (904) 268-0784 for information on fees and registration.
This unique biathlon will start and end at Walter Jones Historical Park. Activities include kayaking and running.

Super Celebration Kickoff
10 a.m.–10 p.m., Friday, March 27
Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park
500 Wonderwood Drive, Atlantic Beach
Experience a day filled with adventure and excitement at one of Jacksonville's premiere oceanfront parks. Come fly a kite in the country's longest running kite festival, ride the waves at a favorite surfing spot, try out the unique sport of disc golf, relax with a movie in the park and much more.

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Trailing Through the Woods: Bicycle rides with Champion Cycle and Fitness
*Tours leave every 15 – 30 minutes depending on group size
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. 84th Annual Kite Festival
10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Disc golf clinic & vendor fair
1 - 2 p.m. Surf's Up! Surfing Demonstrations
11 a.m. – noon Environmental Education Program: Florida's Living Symbols
1 - 2 p.m. Environmental Education Program: Beach Walk and Talk
3 - 4 p.m. Environmental Education Program: Trail Walk and Talk
5 - 6 p.m. Environmental Education Program: Florida's Living Symbols
6 - 10 p.m. Star Gazing
6 - 10 p.m. Movies in the Park featuring Back to the Beach

River Celebration Day
11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday, March 28
Walter Jones Historical Park, 11964 Mandarin Road
Come celebrate the spirit of the magnificent St. Johns River and get a glimpse of historical Mandarin. Enjoy colorful music and storytellers, tranquil boat rides, historical re-enactors, educational nature programs with the St. Johns Riverkeeper, entertaining games and delicious food. Activities continue throughout the day.

Kids Kampus Survivor
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday, March 28
Kids Kampus at Metropolitan Park, 1410 Gator Bowl Blvd.
Call (904) 630-CITY for more information.
Kids Kampus Survivor is an exciting outdoor competition for children ages 12 and under. Participants maneuver through a variety of unique obstacle courses and other fun, age-appropriate activities. Prizes for the winners will be awarded following the games. The event also includes the Florida Fitness Fair, a free fitness and health fair hosted by the Duval County Health Department and the American Heart Association.

Tour de Riverwalk
9 a.m. - Saturday, March 28
The Jacksonville Landing/Northbank Riverwalk, 2 Independent Drive
The ride begins at the Jacksonville Landing and continues along the St. Johns River. There will be a short rest stop at the Fuller Warren Bridge before returning to the Jacksonville Landing for refreshments with District #4 Councilman Don Redman. Bike helmets are required for all riders.

Yoga along the River with Padma
10 a.m. Saturday, March 28
2 p.m. Sunday, March 29
Forest Street Park – Downtown, 505 Alfred Dupont Place
This mind-body experience may help you explore new ways to reduce stress. It introduces participants to the joy of breathing fresh air while moving through a traditional Ashtanga yoga class. The free activity is for beginners and experienced yogis. Please bring a yoga mat and dress accordingly.

Get Out There! Trail Ride
9 a.m., Sunday, March 30
Jacksonville-Baldwin Rails Trail, 1175 Halsema Road N.
Hosted by Champion Cycle
Call (904) 708-3449 for more information.
The ride starts and ends at Camp Milton Historical Preserve.
9 a.m. 30-mile challenge (Riders 18 years of age and older)
9:30 a.m. Five-mile family ride

Wild on the Westside
Friday, March 27 through Sunday, March 29
Tillie K. Fowler Regional Park, 7000 Roosevelt Blvd.
Please call (904) 630-CITY for more information.
Get back to nature with three days of environmental adventure and discovery. Fuzzy, furry or full-feathered friends join JaxParks environmental education staff as it provides unique insights to animals that call this gorgeous nature park home.

Friday, March 27
9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Nature Scavenger Hunt
This fun outdoor scavenger hunt gives participants a closer look at nature, while using the five senses of sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste.
1:30–3 p.m. Animal Detective
Learn to identify some of the more common animals by their tracks and make a plaster cast of a track to take home.
4 – 5 p.m. Nature Discovery
Tour the Tillie K. Fowler nature center and learn about the native Florida animals, both living and non-living, on display here.

Saturday, March 28
9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Geocaching
Take part in this fun adventure game while learning how to use GPS technology.
11 a.m. – noon Dangerous Plants and Animals of Northeast Florida
Learn how to stay safe around dangerous plants and animals that inhabit this area.
1 – 2 p.m. Gardening for Butterflies
An indoor PowerPoint followed by an outdoor tour of the park's butterfly gardens will help you grow one in your own back yard.
2 – 2:45 p.m. Butterfly Identification
This PowerPoint presentation will help you learn to identify butterflies more commonly seen in the Jacksonville area and to know what resources are available. A walk through the butterfly garden follows the presentation.
3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Owl Encounter
Meet Merlin, a non-releasable barred owl, and learn what makes owls different from other birds.

Sunday, March 29
1 -3 p.m. Nature Discovery
Tour the Tillie K. Fowler nature center and learn about the native Florida animals, both living and non-living, on display here.
3:30 – 4:30 .p.m. Snake Savvy
Learn to tell the difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes, their role in the balance of nature and what you can do to stay safe around these reptiles