For three days, the Jacksonville International Car & Truck Show turns the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center into the nation’s most exciting parking lot. Deluxe rides from the likes of Lotus, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche dazzle attendees with sleek lines and plush interiors, and innovative autos such as the Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt show off their efficient electric engines. The newest models from more than 25 other manufacturers line the floor, doors open for guests to lean back in the seats or measure how large a ham can fit in the glove compartment. During daylight hours, a lineup of drivable cars idle outside to give curious patrons the chance to try their dream rides.
From Paragon Golf Center's multifaceted practice complex, Peter Yum improves pupils' swings by channeling wisdom accrued from a junior golf career and time spent under the tutelage of Tom Ness and Ben Doyle, two of golf’s most revered instructors. Peter dissects swings from the comfort of a covered 90-stall driving range with heaters, fans, and automated tee technology that raises golf balls onto hitting mats on command or in exchange for a shiny divot tool. While tweaking their swings, golfers can look at their reflection in stall-side mirrors, helping them better grasp Peter’s corrective advice on how to properly strike the ball or bedazzle their golf glove.
The home shows produced by Marketplace Events connect homeowners and designers with trusted brands, independent businesses, innovators of new products, and local artisans. The vibrant and inspirational presentations showcase new aesthetic trends and functional designs in the realms of home decor, gardening, energy conservation, and living-space management. In addition to showcasing a range of products and concepts, the event hosts special-guest speakers, who educate audiences on home-remodeling projects from painting walls to adding a fourth dimension to a cramped kitchen.
During an afternoon expo filled with romantic anticipation, engaged couples mingle with experts specializing in nuptial necessities such as invitations, photography, and transportation. A fashion show highlights the latest trends in dresses and tuxedos, and dozens of vendors man their booths throughout the show, featuring everything from flowers and cake samples to bouquet-launching trebuchets. Attendees receive discounts on select wares and services, and several lucky brides or grooms head home armed with free giveaways.
The instructors at KGB Kiteboarding empower their students to skate over the ocean's waves, propelled only by a high-flying kite and a large board. The staff teaches lessons at Jacksonville Beach and Huguenot Park for every experience level, from beginners to advanced boarders. During each session, they handpick gear to suit varying builds, riding styles, and weather conditions, walking their pupils through equipment setup and safety guidelines. Whether they are imparting basic launch techniques or teaching experts how to surf with a blimp in lieu of a kite, they welcome anyone to observe their training and ask questions on the beach. They also stock their own brand of boards, harnesses, and fins. With year-round private and group seminars, they encourage their clientele to tame the surf regardless of the season.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students’ inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.