Since 2003, the Jacksonville Film Festival has annually served as one of the city's most anticipated cultural events, screening international and independent films and hosting some of Hollywood's most accomplished names. The first deal plunks cinephiles squarely on the red carpet with access to Saturday's special event, a screening of The Six Wives of Henry Lefay, starring Tim Allen, Elisha Cuthbert, and Andie MacDowell. Young film critics that already possess Roger Ebert's critical eye and Gene Shalit's bushy mustache can attend the kids' red-carpet event, which will screen the zany kid-friendly comedy Finn on the Fly. The third options gets you into the world premiere of Thespians, which documents the theater programs at two Duval County high schools as they prepare for the Florida State Thespians theater festival. Afterward, stay for a Q&A with the filmmakers and special guests.
A hush falls over the pews and all heads turn to see the bride step into the light as she glides down the aisle. The groom's face breaks into a huge grin, and guests can't help but smile themselves. For an instant, everyone in the room forgets that this couple is already married, and that no one in the room knows who they are. But, everyone agrees that the ceremony is beautiful. This is The NotWedding, a mock wedding in which on-trend wedding vendors display their talents to entice those planning their big day. Brides- and grooms-to-be are treated to an entire faux wedding, complete with ceremony, dinner, and dance reception. They spend dinner jotting down the names of the bakers who created the delectable wedding cake, the chefs who sizzled up the artfully plated meals, and the rental centers that provided the elegant table settings. Guests can also glean ideas for modern and hip decorations and wedding-planning advice, including tactful ways to tell their fianc?e's father to retire his ruffled periwinkle tuxedo.
During Hunter Cattle's Farm Heritage Day Festival, families are invited to spend a fun-filled day on the farm, learning about farm life and participating in family-friendly activities. Local heritage farmers hold demonstrations on a variety of topics, including mill grinding, blacksmithing, honey hives, goat milking, pottery spinning, horse farrier, soap-making, and pasta-making. Local chefs and restaurants who use Hunter Cattle products, including Leoci's Trattoria, Neo HHI, and 22 Square, will be on hand to offer snacks and meals. The festival also boasts live music, kids' activities, fishing, and wagon rides.
The Hilton Head Seafood Festival entertains guests' tongues with cuisine from 12 island restaurants, including the Black Marlin, The Crazy Crab, and L'Woods, and non-taste senses with live entertainment. Deviled crabs ($5), mini shrimp po' boys ($3), and blackened grouper fingers ($5) pair well with truffle-parmesan fries ($2) or gelato ($5), and barbecue shrimp dances onto plates to the rhythm of live music ($5).
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.
At Jaxtoberfest, it's easy to eat bratwurst and drink beer casually—or competitively. The German-themed festival's brat-eating contest tests participants' stomach capacity, whereas the 5K Beer Run challengs runners to down brews at "chug stations" lining the race course. Revelers can also test their wits in games of oversize beer pong, beer barrel racing, and stein hoisting. Classic Bavarian music complements the games and food, providing an ideal backdrop for chicken dancing and polka. The family-friendly event also hosts fall-themed activities for kids, such as pumpkin bowling and pumpkin painting.