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New Year's Eve and Gator Bowl weekend events

11:30 PM, Dec 28, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- From New Year's Eve festivities to the Gator Bowl, there is a lot going on across the First Coast this holiday weekend. Here is a list of events:


COLOR IN MOTION JACKSONVILLE 5K: Color in Motion 5k is the race of a lifetime. Start out sparkling clean and end covered in colorful paint. The race is set for Saturday at 9:00 AM at the Nocatee Welcome Center at 245 Little River Road. $50 registration fee. The Color in Motion 5K Run in Jacksonville is happy to announce its support of Hubbard House!

OLD TOWN ART & CRAFT SHOW: On Saturday and Sunday, starting at 10AM, head to Francis Field in St. Augustine for the Old Town Art & Craft Show. This carefully juried fine art and fine craft show consists of top-notch artists and craftsmen from Northeast Florida and around the country, each offering a unique collection of original hand-made fine art and fine craft. You'll find everything from funky pottery to elegant paintings, exquisite jewelry to stunning sculpture, fabulous fiber art to vivid glass work, this is a show you won't want to miss. The Old Town Art & Craft Show hours are 10 am to 5 pm- Saturday- December 29th and Sunday- December 30th- at Francis Field- 25 W. Castillo Dr- Saint Augustine- FL. Admission is FREE! Visit for further information.

HOLLY & TINSEL HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE: On Saturday at 3PM, come and celebrate the holidays with the Rooterville family. Special appearances by ''Jethro'' the goat- ''Stella'' a farm pig- and of course our hosts of the event: ''Tinsel & Holly'' rescued cows from a Dairy Auction in New York.; Experience Holiday beverages: Christmas Nog- Apple Cider- Peppermint Mochas- Gourmet Coffee. Enjoy Elaine's famous Pumpkin Pie- Pear-Cranberry Cobbler- Gourmet Brownies other delicious desserts. Bring your family & friends to enjoy the animals and experience Rooterville at 5579 Darwood Street in Melrose, FL. 

2012 GINGERBREAD HOUSE EXTRAVAGANZA: The 11th annual Gingerbread House Extravaganza returns to historic Old St. Andrews in downtown Jacksonville. This beloved holiday tradition showcases gigantic gingerbread confections, and benefits the children's programs of the Jacksonville Historical Society. Strolling through the competition is a sure way to be swept up in the holiday spirit! The suggested donation for Adults is $5. For children ages 3 -16, the suggested donation is $3. Infants are free. Enjoy the exhibit from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 

ADVENTURE LANDING'S WINTERFEST: The second annual WinterFEST is underway at Adventure Landing. Shipwreck Island Waterpark is now a whimsical, alpine snow village with a large, outdoor ice skating rink (with real ice!), a 130-foot ice slide dubbed the "Alpine Racer", nightly snowfalls, s'more roasting, light displays, a chance to meet Santa in his "house", Blizzard Bluff Village offering Christmas cookie decorating, a crafts area, a free holiday carnival, a teddy bear-making factory and Mistletoe Marketplace. Patrons will also get the chance to enjoy Crystal Creek Lodge for an array of winter eats, treats and sweets from hot soups to hot chocolate. The First Coast's longest special event will continue through January 13, 2013.

CATTY SHACK RANCH DAYTIME EVENT: Come to the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary and enjoy a leisurely stroll of our sanctuary with a guided tour and meet all the residents (Siberian tigers- lions- cougars- spotted and black leopards- two coatimundis and two arctic foxes.) It opens Saturday at 1:30PM. Cost: Tour of the ranch is $10 per person, 12 years old and up, Children 3-11 are $5, 2 years and under are free!

ZOOLIGHTS: Celebrate the holiday season admiring the sparkling lights at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens first annual ZOOLights. Thousands of LED lights will transform the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens into a winter wonderland filled with moving sculptures, forests of lighted trees and animal silhouettes. Besides walking among the thousands of lights strung throughout the Zoo, guests can also enjoy boarding the lighted train or riding the carousel and 4-D Theatre Ride featuring the Polar Express. It's $7 for members and $9  for non-members. It starts at 6:30pm each evening.

GATOR BOWL WEEKEND CELEBRATION: The Jacksonville Landing welcomes Mississippi State fans and Northwestern fans for a five-day celebration surrounding the Gator Bowl and New Year's Eve Celebration. The Landing has scheduled a variety of entertainment to appeal to fans of all ages throughout the property. Saturday, December 29 enjoy Live music in the Courtyard by Something Distant 8 p.m. - 1 a.m. Christmas Tree Light Shows every hour, on the hour from 6 p.m. - Midnight.

ST. AUGUSTINE NIGHT OF LIGHTS: Nights of Lights is a 2-month long celebration of the Holiday Season. Millions of white lights create a magical holiday atmosphere in the Nation's oldest city during the 18th Annual Nights of Lights Celebration in St. Augustine, Florida. Tracing its origins to the Spanish tradition of displaying a lighted white candle during the Christmas holidays, the spectacular lighting reflects the city's 446-year history while creating a beautiful setting for special memories. It's at the Plaza de la Constitucion off Kings Street and runs through January 31st.

NIGHTS OF LIGHTS WINE AND CARRIAGE TOUR: Step aboard an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage and meander the historic streets on this 45-minute tour. While enjoying the spectacular light display- indulge in a bottle of delicious boutique wine (red or white). Cost: $46

HILLIARD LIGHTS: Christmas Lights and more: 65,000 Lights all synchronized to your favorite Christmas Tunes broadcast on 97.3 on your car's FM Radio. This event runs through December 31 yearly. Sunday - Thursday Evenings 6pm - 10pm; Friday and Saturday 6pm - 11pm off 9th Avenue in Hilliard.

2012 HOLIDAY ON THE RIVER CONCERT SERIES: 2012 Holiday on the River Concert Series: Daily and evening live performances by local schools- churches and dance groups. Performances take place in front of the 56-foot Christmas tree in the Courtyard during lunch and in the evenings at the Jacksonville Landing. Saturday night, performances start at 7PM.

CHOCOLATE NUTCRACKER: The Chocolate Nutcracker show takes place Saturday at 7:30PM at the Times-Union Center in Downtown Jacksonville. The performance is an urban spin on the holiday classic The Nutcracker. Dancers from around the Jacksonville area auditioned for parts in the production. Proceeds from the show will benefit scholarship and community programs. For ticket information, please call Chocolate Nutcracker Committee Chair Johnnetta Moore at (904) 768-2255. Cost: $20 - $50


GATOR BOWL WEEKEND CELEBRATION: The Jacksonville Landing welcomes Mississippi State fans and Northwestern fans for a five-day celebration surrounding the Gator Bowl and New Year's Eve Celebration. The Landing has scheduled a variety of entertainment to appeal to fans of all ages throughout the property. On Sunday, Live music in the Courtyard by George Aspinall Band 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. Live music in the Courtyard by Sho Nuf 9 p.m. - 2 a.m. Christmas Tree Light Shows every hour, on the hour from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. *Landing restaurants, bars and nightclubs will observe extended hours this evening till 2 a.m.

SYNCHRONIZED NIGHTLY TREE LIGHT SHOW: The Jacksonville Landing's 56-foot-tree comes alive each evening, performing a 10-minute synchronized light show with more than 78,000 twinkling lights. The light shows take place every hour, on the hour Sunday through Thursday 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 6 p.m. - midnight.


VYSTAR 5K RUN: Registration will take place at the front entrance of The Landing. Each entrant will receive a VyStar Credit Union 5K Run T-shirt. Cost: $20-$25 and $30 on race day. For more information call (904) 730-1900 or visit It leaves the Landing at 10 a.m.

SEC PEP RALLY: The Landing is the official pep rally location for Mississippi State, playing in this year's Gator Bowl. The pep rally will kick off at 1:30 p.m. in the Courtyard and will feature the football team, marching band and cheerleaders.

GATOR BOWL PARADE: The annual parade starts at 3 p.m.

BIG TEN PEP RALLY: The Landing is the official pep rally location for Northwestern, playing in this year's Gator Bowl*. The pep rally will kick off at 5 p.m. in the Courtyard and will feature the football team, marching band and cheerleaders.

GATOR BOWL AND NEW YEAR CELEBRATION AT MAVERICK'S: Head to Maverick's at the Landing for Gator Bowl and New Year festivities. Join Mississippi State and Northwestern fans as they ring in the new year! Everyone gets New Year's party favors and free champagne toast at midnight.

JACKSONVILLE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA - TOAST! TO THE NEW YEAR: Ring in the New Year with music by JSYM- conducted by Stuart Chafetz- and featuring the show-stopping song and dance duo Joan Hess and Kirby Ward. Enjoy light classics, waltzes and popular hits from Broadway to Vienna. After the concert, the party continues in the lobby overlooking the St. Johns River, culminating with a fabulous private outdoor view of the midnight fireworks. The after-party includes light hors d'oeuvres, champagne, cash bar and live music and dancing. It starts at 8:30PM Monday at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. Cost: $50-120

PURE NEW YEARS EVE RED CARPET PREMIER: The NEW Year's Eve Bash starts at 8PM Monday! It's been a great year for Pure Night Club in 2012 and there is only 1 place in the city to be on New Year's Eve! Pure is throwing the largest NYE party in the city! - DJ's will be announced soon! - ''All You Can Drink'' Drink Specials announced soon! - Party Favors will be provided all night! - Fireworks show outside of Pure! LIGHTS! Camera! Action! - Red Carpet Premiere event! Paparazzi- red carpets- red ropes- upscale dress code & balloon drop! Champagne Toast At Midnight! More Info Coming Soon! Plan Your Ultimate New Year's Eve Experience With Us For 1 Unforgettable Upscale Night To Bring In 2013! Cost: $25 - $1000

NEW YEAR'S EVE BLACK AND WHITE MASQUERADE BALL: An evening of glamour and style reminiscent of Truman Capote's infamous Black and White Ball of 1996. Lavish food, live music, dancing, open bar and fireworks. Black and White attire encouraged. Masks will be provided and guests are welcome to bring their own. Make this NYE Year's Eve a Night to Remember! Must be 21 or older and provide valid ID at registration. Reservations at (904) 277-1100. The event is at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island at 9PM Monday. Cost: $195 per adult

PHANTOM OF THE SUITE: New Year's Eve at Suite presents ... Phantom of the Suite: A night to never forget! Ring in the New Year with us for Phantom of the Suite! For more info about tickets contact The party starts at 5PM.

LUCKY NUMBER '13 BASH AT BLACKFINN: Sip on great drink specials all night long including $3 Three Olives : Champagne : Domestic Drafts : BV Century Cellars Wine : Well Cocktails $5 Jack Daniels. Look forward to complimentary passed appetizers from 10pm-1am. Plus, our full menu will be available! We'll also be ringing in 2013 with a Champagne Toast at Midnight. Doors open at 8pm. It's first come, first serve so be sure to get here early for a great seat! Tickets to the event are $20 per person.

NEW YEAR'S EVE AT WHISKY RIVER: Join us as we welcome in the New Year! Tickets $15 - Available at Whisky River located at The Markets at Town Center. Start the party early with open bar from 8pm-10pm, $20 tickets available at Whisky River Jacksonville. For VIP table reservations contact

FIREWORKS: Enjoy a fireworks show on the St. Johns River downtown at Midnight from the Jacksonville Landing.


POLAR PLUNGE: The WaveMasters Surf Club will once again host the Annual Polar Plunge this coming New Year's morning in Jacksonville Beach. We will begin to gather at 8 am at The Seawalk Pavilion, next to The Lifeguard Station, for a 9 am Plunge. Plungers must wear only swimming attire and completely submerge in the chilly Atlantic Ocean.

TAXSLAYER.COM GATOR BOWL - MISSISSIPPI STATE VS. NORTHWESTERN: Kickoff is set for noon Tuesday at Everbank Field.

WATCH THE GATOR BOWL: The game will be aired live on the Jumbotron located in the Courtyard of the Jacksonville Landing at Noon. There will then be LIVE music in the courtyard from 5 PM to 1:30AM. In addition, more than a dozen merchant locations will be airing the game inside their locations. Or head to your favorite local sports bar to watch all the action.

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