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Jacksonville all jazzed up: Hundreds enjoy music festival downtown

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After a rough week in the news, hundreds of people flocked downtown on Saturday to enjoy the longstanding tradition of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival.

It was refreshing to see smiling faces all having a good time, and people came to the free event prepared with lawn chairs, umbrellas — and waters.

For some people, this free event couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Since the pandemic this is the first time we’ve had a jazz festival in two years,” said one attendee. “I’m really happy. I’m glad to see the people.”

Tons of food truck options were available to tempt music lovers’ tastebuds.

The festival runs until 11 p.m. Saturday and picks up again from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

For a full schedule of performers, click here.

The festival is having bag checks at its entry points, so be sure to check the list of prohibited items on the Jazz Fest website before heading out.

There are also many officers patrolling in and around the festival streets.

“Jacksonville is safe. We have our challenges like every city, but a weekend like this you should be excited,” Sheriff Mike Williams said. “We got a lot of good events going on downtown. A lot of people downtown and we have a lot of officers downtown to make sure these events (are safe).”

Before starting his set, one of the performers talked about the recent deadly mass shootings in Texas and Buffalo, but then he played a song saying, “It’s going to be alright.”

And the crowd agreed.

“It’s great I mean the weather is beautiful – the music is amazing,” said one attendee. “We were at the other stage now we’re just waiting for the next people to come on and it’s awesome.”

The Jazz Fest picks back up on Sunday with major headliner, Patti LaBelle.