Positive change, big news and celebratory moments have dominated headlines in the North Florida region throughout the past year. Below, we’ve highlighted a few of the top happenings over the past year in the 904!
President Obama comes to Jax
This February, President Barack Obama visited Jacksonville in what will likely be his last stop in the area before he steps down in November. During his visit, he addressed and celebrated U.S. economic recovery at Saft America battery plant located on the west side. Not only was it a success story from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, it also was a success story for local veterans, who make up a third of the employees at the plant.
TOPGOLF nets are up!
It only makes sense for the home of the PGA headquarters and THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP to also house a Top Golf entertainment center. TOPGOLF is a sports entertainment venue featuring point-scoring golf games for all skill levels. The venue sits on 15 acres near the St. John’s Town Center and is expected to be open as early as October.
Alabama Shakes woos St. Augustine
After winning three Grammys for “Best Rock Performance” “Best Alternative Music Album” and “Best Rock Song,” Alabama Shakes made a stop at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre for a sold-out show this April. Attendees were treated to their album Sound & Color in its entirety, with a mesmerizing and unforgettable performance from frontwoman and guitarist Brittany Howard.
EverBank makeover continues, with much more to come
The City of Jacksonville reached a $90-million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars for continued revitalization of the stadium and surrounding area. The newly revamped Club Seating areas are slated to be open in time to kick-off the 2016 football season, and construction has recently begun on the ‘flex field’ indoor training facility and amphitheater that will reside on the south side of EverBank Field.
Jacksonville Jazz Festival jazzes up The Core
The Jacksonville Jazz Festival returned to the core of downtown this year and saw a noticeable rise in both attendance and VIP ticket sales. Big name acts such as KEM, Snarky Puppy, Jon Batiste & Stay Human, and more, celebrated North Florida’s rich jazz history Memorial Day Weekend. Next year, organizers plan to continue building upon the festival, and also hope to diversify the lineup to attract younger festival goers.
North Florida on the Bachelorette map
A local contestant who goes far on hit ABC-show the Bachelorette showcases the best of North Florida during his filmed hometown date! Robby Hayes, a Jacksonville native, showed his love interest JoJo Fletcher around the nation’s oldest city, and even treated her to a meal at North Florida favorite Caps on the Water!
Love is equal, and legal!
In early 2015, same-sex marriage (finally) became legal in Florida. On Saturday, January 10, Hemming Plaza was the site of 34 same-sex couples wedding ceremonies. Hundreds of family, friends and supporters gathered to celebrate the unions, and the LGBT community as a whole.
Former Bolles Graduate to take on Rio!
Ryan Murphy, a former Bolles swimmer and graduate, qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics in early July. Murphy, who currently swims at the University of California, had the second fastest qualifying time with 52.26 in the 100 metre backstroke.
Are we missing anything? Share your favorite moments with us on social. Don’t forget to hashtag #VOIDLIVE!