4 big weekend events downtown to draw crowds

Published On: Apr 11 2014 11:26:43 AM EDT
Updated On: Apr 11 2014 06:40:00 PM EDT

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

There are four big events going on this weekend in downtown Jacksonville, so anyone heading to the city's core may need to have some patience getting there.

There will be several road closures and thousands of cars and pedestrians all in one area. The good news is various transportation and parking options are available.

"There's plenty of parking, there's plenty of places to be able to commute to get into each venue," said Asst. Chief Leonard Propper, of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. "Just be wise on the route that you take and it should be fine."

The events happening downtown include One Spark, the Jacksonville Sharks game, Guns N' Hoses, the Oyster Jam Music Festival and more.

Propper said anyone heading toward the sports complex should take the Hart Bridge, Mathews Bridge, Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway or Union Street to get downtown.

If you're heading to One Spark, take the Main Street or Acosta bridges.

Transportation options include buses, shuttles, the Skyway and water taxis.

As for parking for One Spark, there are two free and easy options:

1) Park at EverBank Field in Lot E and take to the free shuttle to the heart of the event.
2) Park near the Prime Osborn Convention Center and take a free Skyway ride.

There were 45,000 people estimated for Thursday and 40,000 for Wednesday. Larger crowds are expected this weekend.

Thursday was a record day for the Skyway, which made 12,150 trips. It made 9,650 trips Wednesday.

The Kings Avenue garage will be open this weekend for a $5 charge.

Most importantly, Propper said, just use common sense and be alert, and everyone should enjoy all this weekend has to offer.

"Lastly, we want everyone to be safety-conscious," he said. "Remember where you park, be mindful of buildings or signs, use the buddy plan. It sounds elementary, but it really works. You come as a group, leave as a group and you should be fine."

Propper said there will be plenty of officers at each event as well as along the detours to answer any questions.

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