JACKSONVILLE, Fla, -- There are some huge events on the First Coast this weekend, but rainy weather is almost certain to put a damper on all the fun.
It is expected to rain much of Friday as it did on Thursday. First Coast News meteorologists expect the weekend to "not be as bad," but not great by any means.
The World of Nations at Metropolitan Park is expected to be wet and muddy. It was Thursday morning as hundreds of middle school students made their way there for the annual field trip they make to the event. There were lots of umbrellas, muddy shoes and kids trying to find shelter in the tents or the Metro Park stage.
"It is crazy, not as much fun when you are wet," said Lena Coty who was there with her Landon classmates. "It was wet, cold, and muddy!"
Vincent Mansour was busy cooking in the Palestine tent.
"We are going to go with the flow. I don't think we are going to stop what we started. Hopefully, the weather will clear and we will be able to make everybody happy."
"We are here to represent our country," Mansour added. "If ten people see it, or a thousand people, or 100,000 like we are expecting, it is a good thing."
In Fernandina Beach, the 50th anniversary Shrimp Festival is set for this weekend, an event that thousands and thousands attend, bringing lots of people to the small town.
"It is not what we wanted, but something we can't control," said festival chairman Mark Deaton. "We are still going to have as much of the festival as we possibly can. Some of the music will move indoors to the Dog Start Tavern. We will still have plenty of shrimp, we will still have plenty of entertainment."
Kriistie Hinton manages the Lemongrass shop on Centre Street.
"It is kind of a bummer, we will see what happens. Hopefully we will still have a good turnout, there are so many great things to see. Hopefully more people will come inside to shop. We hope people come visit our island, and come back, which would be wonderful," Hinton said.
Patricia Toundas owns Marina Seafood Restaurant. In her 45 years there, she only recalls two times where it was raining like this.
"The crowds aren't going to come in this, all I can say is I pray to God that the sun comes out, everybody prospers this weekend, the town needs it. So if ya'll come on, bring your rain jackets and umbrellas and come visit," Toundas said.
Deaton said this is the largest fundraiser for most of Nassau County's non-profit organizations, raising about $450,000 for them. The economic impact of this festival is estimated at $17 million.
Other events this weekend on the First Coast are the Gamble Rogers Folk Festival in St. Augustine, the Mug Race, the Wavemaster Surf Contest at the beach and the Kayak Fishing Contest that has brought more than 450 fisherman to the First Coast.
First Coast News