Riverside Avondale is a residential neighborhood with many unique and historic features that draws visitors each year; however, there are a few events that this quaint southern town are known for that draw large crowds by the thousands from all over Florida and the United States.
Spring Tour of Homes is an annual event that raises money for Riverside Avondale Preservation Inc. Home owners agree to open their homes as visitors do self-guided tours of the neighborhood. Tickets are purchased by visitors who are then given maps and brochures with historical information to give them background information on the homes that are part of the event.
Riverside Arts Market is a weekly market located at the end of the North Bank River Walk. The market lines the St. Johns River and is a 15-minute stroll from Jacksonville's downtown area. Every Saturday, musicians, foodies, crafters and collectors set up booths. This event has drawn almost 500,000 visitors every year since it's conception five short years ago. The market is held seasonally from March through the Saturday before Christmas and features over 160 artist showcases and booths.
Not just anyone can set up shop at the market, only the very best and most unique displays are a part of the event and draw vendors that are local and national. The artists are chosen by a panel that votes on who can participate. Pottery, jewelry, photography, wood workings, paintings and other types of art are featured in the Riverside Arts Market.
There is also a Farmer's Market that is part of RAM. The farmers market is exclusive to locally produced goods such as produce, cheeses, meat, breads and desserts. There is live entertainment at both markets, many different parking options, shows such as fire acts, magicians and acrobats that perform amongst the crowds as well.
Riverside Avondale Luminaria is an annual holiday celebration held in December that raises funds for Riverside Avondale Preservation INC. Community members can purchase luminary kits with bags, candles and sand from the RAP headquarters. RAP donates the luminaries that are going to be used in parks and other public places and every year on the day of luminaria, volunteers in the parks and private households set out and light up their luminaries, turning off all other lights so that the entire town glows. This tradition has held strong for over 30 years and with most households participating is a very beautiful spectacle to witness. Photo: Riverside Avondale
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