Some good, some not at One Spark opening

Vendors gain momentum; One Spark Lounge stays empty

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The streets and showrooms in downtown Jacksonville are lined with creative people who had no idea what to expect from One Spark as it finally came to life.

Melissa Roby is one of them. Her art supply store idea now has new momentum.

"You need things like this where you run into people like one after another. It's like, 'Oh, this is great, we need this,'" said Roby, creator of Red Sable. "So your confidence level has gone from good to great to where this has to happen."

One part of the event that was not happening on opening night was a section of the entertainment district. The One Spark Lounge was empty, a big disappointment to some vendors who said they felt the entertainment district was set up too far away from the action.


"We have a very spread out downtown, and so that's something when we're done, we're going to reassess and figure out what worked, what didn't, what can we tweak so that next year we'll be even better," One Spark spokesman Abel Harding said.

With an event this big and this ambitious, there are always going to be surprises, but no one was prepared for the giant duck floating in Hemming Plaza.

"We heard about it, so we had to come," One Spark participant Susan Wiley said. "This is the real reason we actually walked down to Hemming Plaza."

"We don't know where it came from," Harding said. "It's just the morning of, everyone shows up and there's a duck in Hemming Plaza. It's awesome."

Another surprise billed as pretty awesome is that people -- lots of people -- are actually riding the Skyway. Denny Britt was as surprised as anyone.

"Well, it was full. There must have been 12 people in one little car, maybe the most they've had ever since the beginning, I don't know," Britt said.

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