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Free Downtown events kick off holiday season in Jacksonville

The Holiday Art Walk starts at 5:00 p.m. with the Christmas tree lighting at 6:15 p.m.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The holiday season lights up Wednesday night in Downtown Jacksonville with free events planned through this week and next at James Weldon Johnson Park.

The final Art Walk of the year, the Holiday Art Walk, starts at 5:00 p.m. and will have a holiday program along with live music, food and visual arts. The holiday program will feature performances from multiple music and dance schools.

"It's fun for the kids to get to showcase their skills, their talent, what they've been working so hard on," said Melanie Hammer with Cathedral Arts Project. "At Cathedral Arts Project, our mission is to empower every kid's creative spirit. So I think it's important to showcase in the community what we're doing for kids."

The Christmas tree lighting at the park happens at 6:15 p.m. The Art Walk extends to the Jessie Ball duPont Center and the Breezeway at Vystar Tower. 

On Friday there will be the hip hop event Friday Night Vibes. This will also have performances and vendors. On Sunday check out a holiday market Pop Up in the Park. Tuesday is a Hannukah celebration with music, food, storytelling, crafts and games. The Menorah lighting will be at 6:30 p.m.

The executive director of Friends of James Weldon Johnson Park calls this park the "heart of the city" and says starting Wednesday, hearts will come together to share community.

"There's been some tough things happening in the news," said Liz McCoy. "However, this week let's just get together and celebrate and have a good time, celebrate each other, maybe have a cup of good cheer and just celebrate life a little bit. That's what the holidays are all about, enjoying each other."

Find more details about the Holiday Art Walk here.

Find details for the other events here.

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