JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Orange Crush Festival organizers ventured out to the beaches Thursday.
“We’ve come a long way,” said Stephan Smith, the organizer.
Smith says Saturday is “beach day.” No speakers or performances are scheduled, and it is designed to be more of a recreational day, according to Smith.
He said in visiting beach bars and lounges that he has had a lot of mixed reviews.
“It’s a lack of economic boost. They’re still on the same level and we are trying to upgrade and get to a different level and better our city,” Smith said.
Smith said Wednesday that he’s expecting a turnout of about 20,000 people.
News4Jax tried speaking with bars, but most didn’t want to comment on the festival.
“I’m going to make sure that they get the best business. I’m going to make sure that the customers are polite. I’m going to make sure everything is right for as far as what I can do,” Smith said.
News4Jax touched base with Jacksonville Beach leaders about their preparations.
Jax Beach Mayor Chris Hoffman said it’s an evolving situation, noting that most of the planned events are happening in Jacksonville and not at the beaches. She said the city is preparing like it would for any other large events.
Hoffman noted earlier in the week that there has not been any public space officially booked at the beach.
Smith said that on Saturday he’ll be making an announcement about support for the festival, but he would not give any specific details.