Beach community joins local artists, businesses for 30th annual Dancin’ in the Street


The 30th annual Dancin’ in the Street celebration brought live music, crafts and drinks to Beaches Town Center May 21.

The event attracted a crowd from across Jacksonville for a day of festivities featuring two stage venues where performances took place through the evening. Bands such as Gov Club, Mojo Roux, The E Show and Black Cat Bones performed as visitors roamed paths from Ocean Boulevard to Third Street blocked off to facilitate vendors.

A Kids’ Zone was also a main attraction, with six inflatable activities including towering slides, bouncy houses and a kids’ rodeo, as well as a putt putt golf station, an obstacle challenge course and face painting.

In addition to the music and attractions, Dancin’ in the Street serves as somewhat of an “artist alley” for local artists to display their wares. One vendor, artist Brian Barnard, returned for his fifth year with a booth for his own collection of fan art “prints” featuring the likes of beloved characters from popular animation and video games. For Barnard, the atmosphere is the biggest draw.

“I’ve been an exhibitor for a while and this event is just a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s a bit wilder than most craft fairs and super casual. There’s always a big turnout and it’s just a good time.”

Other visitors,like Kaylee Roderiguez of Orange Park, welcomed the opportunity to support local businesses at the beaches while enjoying the day with friends. “Honestly it’s a bigger deal than people realize,” she said.

First established in 1986, Dancin’ in the Street is now a spring festival staple at the beaches. Its 30th year saw an artist lineup of 16 artists and food and merchandise booths lining several streets. As the Beaches Town Center Agency’s biggest fundraiser of the year, money generated from the event goes to the ongoing beautification projects aiming to improve the central business district of Atlantic and Neptune Beach.

For those who return religiously, the added benefit of helping the community only sweetens the deal.

“I’ve been coming every year since 2010,” said Roderiguez. “And if I can do my part to help Atlantic Beach by just having fun then I’m totally up for it.”