Jackrabbits, one of Jacksonville’s primary downtown live music venues, is an intimate home for local and national bands like The Hives, Slightly Stoopid, Incubus and many others. The newly renovated bar area serves beer and wine only – though the selection, while focused, features many otherwise hard-to-find craft brews. Though this venue can get quite crowded depending on the act, tickets are reasonably priced and guests can always get an up close and personal experience, thanks to the limited floor space. The nondescript entrance can be hard to spot, as it’s little more than a gray door with the name Jack Rabbits scrawled across. The décor is typical dive bar, dark and grayish with sturdy seating, while most of the focus is on the stage, where lighting and sound are top-notch.
Tired of the vulgar material found at most venues, the owners of the Comedy Club of Jacksonville open their stage to comedians without mile-long blue streaks. The club rates each standup on a G–R scale, with most comics falling under PG-13 language or soft-R content. This thoughtfulness even extends to the kitchen, where the proprietors try to avoid fried foods in favor of a char-broiler that fires up tasty kabobs and provides ashes for applying funny fake mustaches.
The Jacksonville RollerGirls’ derby divas, members of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, deliver fast-paced, four-wheeled fun to crash-craving audiences. The group of more than 70 wheeled warriors is split into four teams, composed of hip-checking hustlers such as Crash Register and Kat Von Skratchereyezout, who whip around corners toppling opponents like human bowling pins in search of points and respect in the streets. This year’s home-opening bout features two of the Jacksonville RollerGirls’ teams—the River City Rat Pack and New Jax City Rollers—skating against Knoxville’s Hard Knox Roller Girls to determine which team gets to join the NFL.
Inaugural members of the recently formed North American Lacrosse League, the Jacksonville Bullies vie with four other indoor franchises for a spot in the NALL World Championship. Goalie Erik Miller, whose 75% save average earned him the nickname the "Iron Curtain" during 13 seasons in the NLL, bolsters the backs of young, freshly drafted runners that include JU all-star Bobby Stockton and former Stonybrook captain Thomas Compitello. Players show off their deft cradling skills in 12 regular-season contests, exhibitions against international brigades, and peekaboo competitions against opponents’ babies.
Frankenstein will be there. So will Batman, Spider-Man, Dr. Zaius, and Yongary the Monster from the Deep. If it's old fashioned, fantastic, and a little bit kitschy, chances are it's going to be represented. From toys to comic books to movie posters, Retr-O-Rama celebrates the science fiction and fantasy of yesteryear. Co-founder Dan Tuchmann loves classic toys and collectibles, but he "found that dealers were growing tired of all the rules, regulations, and fees associated with eBay and they really missed the days of in person shows.” That's why Retr-O-Rama was created, and today it serves as place not just for buyers to make informed purchases, but for like-minded individuals to share their passion, make friends, and start arguments over whether "Biff!" or "Bopp!" is a more appropriate sound effect when throwing a punch.
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.