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One Spark lights up Jacksonville

10:38 PM, Apr 16, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The One Spark festival is kicking off Wednesday after years of planning, and creators of the idea could not be more thrilled.

"This really started on a napkin at Panera one day with myself and a few friends," said One Spark founder Elton Rivas.

He helped bring the idea from a paper product to a festival with an expected crowd of more than 10,000 people ... and each and every one of them get to be part of it.

"It's one of those festivals where you really get to be engaged with the creators or the people who are part of this process," he said.

The idea of the festival is ideas.

Creators from all over the world will showcase their best inventions, hoping to earn a quarter of a million dollars.

RELATED: One Spark festival traffic and road closure information

The crowd votes on who wins the money, and can give to the inventions they're inspired by.

"With One Spark you have the ability to contribute, so it's real time crowd funding, and that's not being done anywhere else in the world," he said.

It's taken years of planning to get to this point, and no small show of support from the community.

The City of Jacksonville has contributed $85,000 in public money to get it off the ground.

"We're really hoping that downtown shows off. There's a lot of creators, there's going to be a lot of energy. We're hoping that people see the potential and the vibrancy in downtown," said City Spokesman David Decamp.

Decamp said they've stepped up security and have tried to plan for every contingency; creator Elton thinks they're ready.

"We couldn't be more proud of how this has come together to make One Spark a Jacksonville event," he said.

The event starts in downtown Jacksonville Wednesday at 6pm.

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