If you weren't able to join last year, here's some of what happened.
A variety of attractions at the starting line and along the two-mile route. We will be updating details for the 2020 event in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more announcements. Until then, expect much of the same from last year including: the Tin Can Photo Lounge, which will be parked near the starting line, laser light shows, a DJ, the Jax Mag Selfie Booth, kids games, food trucks, a best “illuminated” pet costume contest and more!
Participants are encouraged to bring their own paper lantern creations constructed at home. Jacksonville Magazine will have lanterns for sale at the Riverside Arts Market leading up to the parade, as well as at the parade itself. The Jax Mag Lantern Parade tent will be set up at RAM: January 18, 25, and February 1 and 8 from 10 AM-3 PM.
Illuminated Pet Costume Contest
New to the Parade last year was the Illuminated Pet Contest hosted by Forever Vets. Outfit your furry friends in something that glows and shines and bring them along. Look for the Pet Contest tent near the starting line. Bring your illuminated pooch (or cat, if you can make that work) and pose for a picture. We'll be awarding prizes starting the week after the event, followed by a recap in the April issue. And following the event, we'll place the photos in an online gallery for all to enjoy.
Participants in the pet contest had the chance of winning a coupon voucher for Artistic Aire, a decorative painting company owned by local artist, Lauren Klose. Klose collaborates with her husband, Rob, to take ordinary photo renderings and turn them into masterfully painted pet portraits.
Boats bearing lanterns or other forms of illumination are welcome to cruise up and down the St. Johns in the vicinity of the Lantern Parade. However, this is not a Christmas event so we ask that boaters outfit their vessels according. While twinkling lights are fine, leave the Xmas decor at home. Of course, boaters must follow proper maritime practices and are responsible for the safety of their vessel and passengers.
As the Northbank Riverwalk is gleaming with light, the 100-passenger Miss Hadley will be taking guests on a cruise up and down the St. Johns. Miss Hadley will depart from Friendship Park at 6:30 PM, but will be making a couple stops to allow passengers to not only enjoy the view, but to also participate in the parade. Click here to purchase tickets before they sell out!
Local schools are coming together to provide entertainment for the parade. From elementary school kids to universities, there is a range of talent coming out to keep the night full of music and movement.
Students from the Ronan School of Music performed the National Anthem to kick-off the parade at 7 PM. At the halfway point of the route, a rock band made up of students from the school were playing.
Marching in the parade was the University of North Florida’s drumline, the Jacksonville Jaguars D-Line and students from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts playing brass horns.
The Junco Royals brought their Traditional Jazz repertoire to the parade route. Their selection spans from the Roaring 20's to Gypsy Jazz to the Swingin' Blues. With a clarinet, tuba, guitars and kazoo, listeners will immediately start dancing to the nostalgic groove.
The Tin Can Photo Lounge camper will be parked near the starting line to capture lasting memories of the night. There will be various fun and games for participants of all ages, such as a DJ, a laser light show, the Jax Mag Selfie Booth, light-up toys for sale, a Best "Illuminated" Pet Costume Contest and a firework show over Downtown marking an end to the 2020 Jacksonville Lantern Parade.
Food and craft beer will be available at the Riverside Artist Square beginning at 6 PM.
What to Wear
The Jacksonville Lantern Parade is a completely outdoor event. While the starting area is somewhat sheltered from the elements, participants should expect to be outside for all activities. As such, please dress accordingly. So, wear clothing and shoes designed for warmth and comfort.
Businesses wishing to participate in, or sponsor at the Lantern Parade should email Reggie Jolly at email@example.com.