JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Orange Crush Festival is scheduled to take place in the Jacksonville area later this month, with events held around town.
The three-day festival -- which attracts thousands of people -- has been held in Tybee Island, Georgia, in the past. The mayor of Tybee said there were issues with alcohol use, reckless drivers and partiers blocking traffic. The mayor also said that in 2018, promoters did not have a permit for the gathering. But promoters said they wanted to move to Duval County because what they believe were a lack of resources, limited parking and civil rights violations by Tybee Island officials.
This year, Orange Crush is set for June 18 to June 20 and will have events throughout Jacksonville and along the beaches, including at Mascaras, an adult club on Southside Boulevard.
“It will be fun. It will be a nice experience,” said Mascaras manager Terry Harris. “I think we can show up Georgia in a good way and responsibly host this event because it’s going to be major.”
On opening day, there will be a mixer at the Justice Pub on East Bay Street downtown. Then, there will be an after-hours party at Club Bliss on Southside Boulevard.
On June 19, there will be an event at the Onyx Sports Bar on Norwood Avenue in North Jacksonville.
There is one beach day planned for June 19 at an unspecified location, and another beach day planned for the final day at Huguenot Park. While there aren’t any set events in Jacksonville Beach as of right now, crowds are expected to be there. The majority of businesses there that News4Jax spoke with on Tuesday said they will be open and are looking forward to the business that the event will bring.
News4Jax on Tuesday asked Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry about Orange Crush.
“I am grateful people want to host events in Jacksonville, Florida. We celebrate all people. We all work together to have a good time,” Curry said. “I know members of my office have been in touch and members of the public safety center have been in touch, and everyone is working together.”
News4Jax also checked in with the visitor and convention bureau in Jacksonville.
“We continue to make our services available for Orange Crush to help them with anything they need,” said Visit Jacksonville President and CEO Michael Corrigan. “We’re looking forward to welcoming the visitors to town.”
Jacksonville City Councilwoman Joyce Morgan said she is asking questions about what to expect.
“I am really not concerned, and I’ll tell you why: We have a great zone commander in our district. She’s going to be working very closely making sure that everything that needs to happen in the right direction is going to happen,” Morgan said. “And we’ve got to trust in that.”
The mayor of Jacksonville Beach and police there told News4Jax they plan to release a statement next week when they have a better idea of what the events look like.
And while there might have been problems in Georgia, most leaders and business managers in the Jacksonville area don’t believe that will be the case.
“Bringing people together -- not just Black people only, all people -- to show them that we can all come together and have a good time together in our community,” Harris said.
Some area residents agreed with that.
“A festival after COVID and all of us being locked in and all of the stuff that’s going on in the world, I feel that it should be welcomed here,” said Sukie Gayle. “Just get more volunteers, have police on standby. It’s a good time to celebrate.”
Resident Joy Laurent said: “I think more festivals, more opportunities for us to connect as a community, those are all great things.”
Some News4Jax insiders said they won’t be attending
“No. Take the ‘festival’ elsewhere,” Kam said.
Timmytotems said: “Nope.”