Our team at Riverside Avondale Preservation worked hard in 2022 to continue hosting and strengthening our signature events that promote historic preservation and community building. We ended 2022 strong with a growing membership, active board, vibrant committees, vendor demand, and a variety of future neighborhood projects cooking. As we reflect on some of the 2022 highlights, mark your calendar for our Annual Meeting on February 16th where we'll look to 2023 and our work to come.
- Shannon Blankinship, Executive Director
We hosted 12 cleanups sites during the two major annual Jacksonville cleanup days in March and September. These two events collected 109 blue bags of waste, litter, and debris from our streets and parks with the help of 125 volunteers.
46th annual Home Tour
Bringing back the home tour after a 2-year hiatus had real challenges, but the enthusiasm from participants and homeowners combined with the perfect weather and hundreds of volunteers made the weekend spectacular. The event featured the oldest house in the neighborhood circa 1857 as well as a sprawling recent renovation on St. Johns Avenue. The “Twilight Party”, our pre-tour appreciation event for homeowners and a limited number of ticket purchasers sold out. It featured an additional Home Tour site with a fantastic outdoor entertainment space.
Garden Tour 2022
While the Home Tour promotes restoration, renovation, and preservation, the Garden Tour focuses on the yards and landscapes that are an expansion of our living areas in Florida. The second annual Garden Tour featured 13 properties offering insight on plant propagation, Japanese landscaping, native yards, and backyard art and music. Tickets are the ideal Mother’s Day gift and experience.
38th annual Luminaria
This year's Luminaria was spectacular. Nearly 27,000 luminaries (from RAP!) lined the sidewalks, roads, parks, church steps, and gathering places of our neighborhood. Hundreds of people purchased bags and candles for your block or neighbors. Many people were new to Luminaria, curious, and excited. The streets were filled with lighted bikes and walkers connecting with each other – and that is what Luminaria is all about.
Riverside Arts Market
The demand from vendors to join the Riverside Arts Market is a sign that not only is RAM a staple for the community, but it is also a hub for small businesses to thrive. We are proud that the market has become intrinsically connected to the art, music, farmers, makers, and food scene in our community. Thank YOU for coming out each week to see what is new, because each week is a different experience. A new column in The Resident, Loyal to Local, features a new vendor each month to learn more about these incredible entrepreneurs in our community.
First Friday events and Bike Tours
First Friday’s, a RAP-hosted community happy hour that showcases a different small business each month, are a wonderful way for neighbors to connect while supporting local and learning more about RAP’s work. In 2022 we featured Prospect, Mixed Fillings Pie Shop, Grassroots Natural Market, Tomato Vintage, the Jacksonville Water Taxi, Kathryn’s Wines, Joyfull, Burlock & Barrel, Room with a View Interiors, and Kravey Gardens.
In addition to the events, in 2022 we launched an e-bike tour with Art Bikes Jax, led by Executive Director Shannon Blankinship. Each tour focused on the current happenings in the neighborhood, primarily centered around art, food, music, history, preservation, and zoning.