The streets of Downtown Jacksonville were flowing thick with people, innovative ideas and the best food and drink in the city. Even, on Friday evening, after the streets were flowing with water from an intense downpour, spirits weren’t dampened at Jacksonville’s premiere event, One Spark.
The day began with beautiful, albeit hot, weather. All week, the weather remained hot yet dry. One Spark officially opened April 7, but we didn’t get a chance to make it over until Friday after work. After following the World’s Largest Crowdfunding Festival on social media all week, I was itching to check it out myself. Last year we only made it over once, on a Thursday night, because we headed out of town on vacation.
We spent most of the night wandering around, stopping every so often to whatever caught our ears or eyes, whether it be social justice raps or underwear-clad mannequin and men.
One of my favorite creators was project #21948, Art for Jacksonville’s Youth. It was an awesome interactive activity that allowed the kids of One Spark to get creative.
Another cool project was Water Me Green (#22881), stationed on the second floor balcony of the recently-expanded Sweet Pete’s Candy Shop (not that they’re in their new digs, I may have to take another candy class). The urban gardening project was visually appealing, with vertical white planters framed by skyscrapers, and also pretty popular — creator Tito Sosa had a constant flow of interested people t chat with.
Then of course there’s Spark Attack, project #22000, a UNF sculpture project commissioned by Wayne Wood.
We spent about 10 minutes by the fountain trying to get a decent selfie, which was basically a complete failure.
YarnBomb Jax’s (#21863) funky creations adorned the trees and greens of Hemming Park. As a crocheter, I loved this project too, although it makes my hands tired just looking at it.
As the evening went on, the skies got darker — and not just because the sun was going down. The foreboding dark blues and grays made for a nice backdrop, especially against this One Spark entrance at Hemming Park, created by the Pratt Guys.
But the dark skies eventually opened up and there was an intense downpour for probably a good 20 minutes. Right before the rains came, Joel’s Florida senses kicked in and he led us to an unused tent on Laura Street in the food village. It was a smart move, because about 50 other people joined us when the rain came, and we luckily had a prime spot in the middle, away from the sideways rain (keeping our Canon dry!).
Others weren’t so lucky to find shelter, or even bring umbrellas, but it didn’t seem to scare people away. Soon the streets were bustling again.
That’s all for Friday’s adventures. We are headed back Saturday to check out all we missed. But because I’m in love with the Downtown architecture and skyline, I’ll leave you with some of my favorite shots from last night, starring the skyscrapers of Jacksonville:
Columns of the Marble Bank Building.
The Carling… in varying states of outage.
The photo timestamps show only an hour difference. Maybe it was the rain?
And the theme of the last night, reflections: