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.
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.
For more than 20 years, local music lovers have gathered to kick off the Jacksonville Jazz Festival by watching piano prodigies tickle the ivories until they’re piled in breathless, side-clutching stitches. Out of a pool of contenders feasibly as large as 6 billion people, a blind-judging process is currently selecting the five best to duke it out on the stage of The Florida Theatre for top bragging rights, as well as a cash prize, a signed copy of Thelonius Monk's almost-new keytar, and a primo performance slot at the festival over the weekend. A pro-level rhythm section anchors each pianist in time and space with a danceable beat.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies to promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Professional instructors teach beginner bowmen the art of arrow-flinging basics in two-hour introductory archery classes. Owner and instructor John Strifler draws upon 15 years of bow-hunting experience to lead students through one-on-one lessons covering the basics of safety, technique, and bow work to gain archery mastery without searching for Robin Hood's lucky tights. Twanging strings and teachers’ voices echo throughout the facility as aspiring bow masters let loose shafts at distant bull’s-eyes to punish them for unfailingly winning staring contests. Mental focus and physical strength sharpen against the whetstone of the gentle, low-impact exercise as students test their mettle with studio-provided bows. The two-hour lesson gives guests a taste of this exciting, unique hobby, encouraging further proficiency for the facility's 14-hour archery course.