An exciting new Caribbean themed festival will launch in St. Augustine this weekend! The 1st annual Jerk & Curry Music Fest will take place on Saturday, September 14 from 12 noon to 10 p.m. at Francis Field in the historic district.

Part of the festival’s proceeds will go to purchase hurricane relief supplies for Bahamians devastated by Hurricane Dorian.

This family-friendly festival will offer plenty of games, delectable Caribbean-inspired cuisine, live reggae and soca music, dancing, a kids’ fun zone and much more.

Watch contestants sweat it out in the pepper eating contest and jerk wing eating contest! The event will also include a jerk and curry chicken cook-off and classic limbo contest.

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St. Augustine’s 4th annual Sing Out Loud Festival is kicking off this weekend at venues throughout the historic district and organizers are expecting the biggest crowds ever! Concerts are planned for each weekend from Friday, September 6 through Sunday, September 29.

The event will feature an impressively orchestrated 334 bands including headliner Kacey Musgraves as well as local poets and comedians. In total, fans will be treated to more than 500 artists.

No matter your musical tastes, the festival has shows for you including indie rock, Americana, blues, hip-hop and R&B, bluegrass, punk rock, jazz and comedy.

Almost all of the festival’s shows are free to attend—a rarity when it comes to great concerts—and require no tickets. The only show to charge admission is the (sold out) finale with Grammy Award-winning country music star Kacey Musgraves on September 21.

Here are just some of the featured performances each weekend. Except for the first show below, all featured shows will be at The Backyard at The St. Augustine Amphitheatre. See a full schedule at https://www.singoutloudfestival.com/schedule/.

  • Friday, Sept. 6 (starting at 6 p.m.)Headliner: Dave Hause & The Mermaid, Guests: Christina Wagner, Raye Zaragoza, The Attack (Venue: Colonial Oak Music Park)
  • Saturday, Sept. 7 (starting at 7:45 p.m.) – Headliner: Kurt Vile and the Violators, Guest: Reels
  • Sunday, Sept. 8 (starting at 6 p.m.) – Headliner: Jenny Lewis, Guests: The Watson Twins, Lucie Silvas
  • Friday, Sept. 13 (starting at 5:30 p.m.) – Headliner: Propagandhi, Guests:The Coathangers, Debt Neglector, GILT
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Being the No. 1 school district in the state means more and more families are moving to the area to take advantage of the outstanding schools. Compared to last year’s first day of school, this year’s first day saw a 6% increase in students county-wide, or 2,240 additional kids.

With this big increase, officials are working hard to maintain our outstanding reputation for academic excellence—and safety.

More associate teachers have been needed to meet the demand and stay compliant with maximum classroom capacities (18 kids for K-3, 22 kids for 4-8, and 25 for high schoolers). In fact, even after the start of the school year on August 12, the county still has job openings for teachers, paraprofessionals, custodians and food service workers.

Beyond the increased needs for staff and faculty, new measures are being taken to ensure schools remain safe from potential threats. Terrible tragedies, like the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, have had a major impact on how all schools approach their own security.

Here are a few changes the district is making to keep your kids safe:

– New surveillance system:A new security surveillance system called Omnicast is being rolled out, which allows the Sheriff’s office to view school camera feeds from a single location. According to the school district’s CIO Bruce Patrou, “A number of schools are now online. We expect to have all of the remaining cameras online over the next two to three months.”

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St. Augustine’s newest residents fit perfectly into our laid back, coastal lifestyle. In fact, they sleep up to 20 hours a day and spend most of their time lounging in trees at their new home in the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.

Meet Teddy and Grizzly, two mature sloths who moved to the Alligator Farm this summer and made their debut to visitors last week.

The male and female Hoffman’s Two-Toed Sloths were brought to St. Augustine from Busch Gardens in Tampa and spent much of the summer in quarantine to ensure their safe acclimation to their new home. Their Alligator Farm rainforest habitat, which was built just for Teddy and Grizzly, mimics their native environment in Central and South America.

But don’t expect a spectacle on par with the park’s alligator feedings and wildlife shows. Sloths, named for their slow movements and low metabolism, are nocturnal and will likely be sleeping during your visit! Nevertheless, they are easily visible in their new habitat.

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The Greater World Golf Village Area, from International Golf Parkway (IGP), across S.R. #16 to C.R. #208 and from U.S. #1 to the St. Johns River, is on the cusp of another infrastructure boost.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is underway with design and engineering plans to build north and south Managed Lanes (aka, High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes) on Interstate 95 between IGP and I-295. The approximate 15 mile improvement will be toll-regulated, and like the recently completed segment of I-295 from I-95 to the St. Johns River, will be accessed through the Florida SunPass transponder system.

Since IGP will be the southern portal to the improvement, the I-95 / IGP Interchange (Exit 323) will also be improved by the FDOT, regards ingress, egress, stacking, signalization and vehicle flow. FDOT has nearly completed their ramp and signalization improvement designs. They have also taken care to save, in place, as many of the existing Southern Live Oaks as possible – coupled with a re-planting and treescape supplemental effort.

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Now that school is back in session, IMAX is offering the chance to extend learning beyond the classroom! Documentary Days at the World Golf Hall of Fame IMAX Theater will kick off tomorrow, Friday, August 16 and run through Thursday, September 5.

To kick off the annual series, IMAX will introduce two new documentaries: Backyard Wilderness 3D and Superpower Dogs 3D.

On Saturday, August 17, S.A.F.E. Pet Rescue of St. Augustine will be on site at the IMAX for a special dog adoption event to help kick off Superpower Dogs 3D!

Other not-to-miss documentaries include Great Bear Rainforest, Great Barrier Reef, Pandas, Amazing Mighty Micro Monsters, Dream Big: Engineering Our World, Extreme Weather, Hubble, We the People, Lewis & Clark, Under the Sea, Born to be Wild, and Flight of the Butterflies!

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Finding opportunities for professional networking in World Golf Village just got easier!  Davidson Realty just announced it has merged its monthly Networking Events with the Village B2B group headed up by local publisher David Permenter.

The newly combined group is set to become bigger than ever with as many as 90 professionals (or more!) coming together every month.

Event organizers (and Davidson agents) Terri Apodaca and Rebecca Schaffer are excited about teaming up with David, who publishes Between the Greens, a publication for World Golf Village residents. Both groups have been useful for lots of local professionals looking to connect with other pros.

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As the state’s healthiest county, St. Johns County provides residents with plenty of opportunities for recreation, access to healthful foods and medical care, and poverty-fighting initiatives.

And now, residents in World Golf Village have one more healthy option with a brand new YMCA! Located at the Flagler Health+ Village in MuraBella, the facility opened on July 2 to meet the growing demand in our community for more athletic and fitness facilities for all ages and ability levels.

The new YMCA includes a large area with cardio machines (treadmills, ellipticals, stair climbers, cycles and rowing machines) and weight training equipment and machines. Two spacious rooms host all kinds of group classes including Zumba, yoga and wide-ranging cardio classes. A large cycling studio is also available with ongoing classes.

The family-focused facility boasts a KidZone and Teen Center, in addition to hosting summer camps and youth sports leagues.

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Jacksonville Business Connections will host its 6th Annual Summer Craft & Vendor Event at the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort on Saturday, July 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event will feature 150 vendors and crafters offering jewelry, crafts, apparel, art, cuisine, skincare and cosmetics, vacation planning services, home decor and services, healthcare and chiropractic, natural and holistic products, pet care and much more.

Admission is free to the indoor event and the first 50 guests receive FREE swag bags!

Just some of the 150 vendors include national brands like Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, Rodan + Fields, as well as many local boutiques and artisans.

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Fireworks Over the Matanzas is widely considered to be the best 4th of July light show in Northeast Florida. This year’s festivities, beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, are sure to dazzle.

However, parking for the event can be a real challenge. Plenty of spectators choose to arrive early in the day to enjoy the music, food and fun—and avoid the gridlock. That’s a great option! Local favorite The All-Star Orchestra kicks things off at 6 p.m. with a two-hour show of big band and swing music at the gazebo at Plaza de la Constitucion.

Fireworks light up over Matanzas Bay beginning at 9:30 p.m. and last about 20 minutes. Set to patriotic music on a sound system installed on the bayfront, the show features 5,000 individual shells exploding between 100 and 2,000 feet high.

It’s no wonder thousands of spectators ascend to the historic St. Augustine waterfront to see it! If you are planning to attend, here is vital parking information to read BEFORE YOU GO.

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