JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In a river city, it only makes sense one of the hottest parties of the year is on the water.
Each year during Florida-Georgia weekend, boaters dock at the city marinas, especially at Metropolitan Park, in one giant, floating tailgate party.
And it's bigger than any other river event of the year.
"Three times as big," said city waterways coordinator and dock master Captain Jim Suber. "It's our biggest event of the year, without a doubt."
Suber said 150 boats will tied up at the Metro Marina by EverBank Field, 75 more will dock at The Jacksonville Landing, and even more will set up at the city marina on the Southbank.
"And it's anywhere from $20 a day to $70 a day with a three-day minimum," Suber said.
Which, he said, pays off big for the maintenance of the city-owned marinas and docks.
"Docks are expensive, the weather really takes a toll on them, and this event helps the operation be self-sustaining throughout the year," he said.
The slips became available for boaters Thursday, but they had already been claimed for months.
Boaters who want to dock at the Metro Marina have to sign up ahead of time online.
It's something Nancy and Robin Doering have been doing for years.
Their boat is the Rockin' Robin, and it's decked out in Gator colors.
"We've been coming to the game for 45 years, but have been doing it by boat for nine."
Much like RV City, these boaters build friendships over the years with the folks they dock next to.
Nancy Doering became friends with Kay Worth when her boat, Jose's Hideaway, pulled up next to them six years ago.
"The boating community is very tight," Worth said. "We see a lot of these folks on the water during the rest of the year too."
They say it's the only way to experience the Florida-Georgia weekend, all in good fun while helping keep the city's marina services afloat.
First Coast News