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JSO helps community as traffic for Girvin Road holiday lights display triples amid COVID-19

The Blackhawk Bluff neighborhood off Girvin Road, known for its Christmas lights, has seen a steady rise in traffic as families seek COVID-safe holiday activities.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Bumper-to-bumper traffic in the Blackhawk Bluff neighborhood off of Girvin Road around the holidays is nothing new. For about the last couple of decades, the community in Jacksonville's East Arlington area boasts some of the best holiday lights displays in the state attracting families from all over the First Coast.

That heavy traffic has grown denser this year as families seek COVID-19-safe holiday activities, according to residents.

Casey Jones, who lives in Blackhawk Bluff, has been participating in the display for about five years decking his house, yard and trees with elaborate lights and music.

"Our traffic has tripled," Jones said of the holiday lights revelers. "The only thing we can attribute that to is people are paranoid because of COVID. There's not much people can do and feel safe doing it."

Jones said the heaviest traffic in years past has been on Christmas Eve and the weekend before Christmas, but the neighborhood is already seeing that level of traffic now.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has stepped in to help direct traffic, however that solution isn't permanent, as officers may be pulled from the traffic detail if another call for service comes in, Jones said.

He started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the neighborhood to hire an off-duty officer to direct traffic next year. Jones said the funds would also go to help others in the neighborhood purchase lights so they too can participate in what has become one of the area's premier holiday lights displays.

To pay off duty JSO officer to direct traffic at both Blackhawk Bluff entranceway on Girvin road. Do to the virus our traffic has tripled & quadrupled this year. We think families feel very safe to load up in the car & drive to the best Christmas light neighborhood in Jacksonville...

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