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Your complete guide to Georgia-Florida weekend

Everything you need to know for the annual game

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Georgia-Florida fans have waited all year for this day. Thousands of fans from both teams look forward to the big game, the celebration and the rivalry that goes down at TIAA Bank Field every year. 

The game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. Here is a complete guide to making sure your Georgia-Florida weekend isn't a fumble.

Weekend events

Georgia-Florida weekend events begin well before the game.

The Fan Experience will kick-off with a free Friday night concert in the Flex Field at Daily’s Place featuring country music star Corey Smith. Opening for Smith is local musician Sol Rydah.

ESPN's "College GameDay" and "SEC Nation" will be live Saturday morning to preview the matchup between two top 10 teams and the rest of the week 9 college football games.

"College GameDay" will be live from Metropolitan Park from 9 a.m. to noon. SEC Nation will be live from Lot P from 10 a.m. to noon.

On Saturday, the Fan Experience, open from 9 a.m. until the end of halftime, will feature interactive games and sponsor activations. 

READ MORE: Jacksonville Landing's Georgia-Florida party will go on

The Jacksonville Landing will be gating Friday and Saturday and a $10 charge will be collected at the entry gates. Children 12 and under accompanied by a parent will be free. 

The Landing has scheduled a variety of entertainment, including live music, to appeal to fans of all ages. Click here to view the schedules for Friday's entertainment, and click here for Saturday's entertainment schedule. 

Security 

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office added extra security measures ahead of the rivalry game.

According to JSO, more than 650 officers will be working at Saturday's game and in surrounding neighborhoods.

On Thursday, the Sheriff's Office brought in additional lighting. There will also be metal detectors at the stadium.  

READ MORE: Jacksonville Sheriff's Office adds extra security measures | 

As in previous years, all visitors and their belongings will be searched to allow entry into The Jacksonville Landing.

The Landing will enforce their rules and requirements for this special event and will limit the items allowed on property. No backpacks, coolers, chairs, outside food and drink, luggage/oversized bags, weapons/firearms, masks, fireworks, bottles and cans, and flying objects are allowed on The Landing’s property. No Halloween costume masks (or anything that covers the face) will be allowed. The Landing will allow small bags including clutches, satchels, draw string bags and anything under 12”x12” on to the property. As mentioned, all persons, bags, parcels, clothing and other personal items will be searched.

The Sideline Safety Zone returned to the first-floor at The Landing, located by the escalators inside the mall, for anyone who needs assistance during the event. There will be access to directions, 
first aid and medical support, water, telephone service, cellphone charges, snacks, coffee, maps, and other information. The zone will be open from 8 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday, and from noon Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday. For more information, call the hotline 904-630-SAFE (7233).

Traffic

Police, stadium and transportation officials urged fans to arrive early. The parking lots will open at 8 a.m. and gates to the stadium open at 1:30 p.m. -- two hours before kick-off.  

Gameday traffic is expected to be heavy and fans are strongly encouraged to arrive five hours early.

There will also be limited cash lots downtown. Fans may consider utilizing transportation alternatives such as the JTA Gameday Xpress or the River Taxi, which will run until midnight Friday and Saturday.

JTA Skyway is free with extended hours from 6 a.m. Friday to 1 a.m.  Saturday, and 9 a.m. Saturday to midnight. The Convention Center stop is not in service due to construction. 

JTA Gameday Xpress features five park-n-ride locations across Jacksonville. Tickets are $8 or $13 roundtrip depending if you park in a downtown lot or suburban lot. There will be continuous service shuttles from the Prime Osborn Convention Center. 

St. Johns River Taxi is $10 roundtrip.

River Taxis loop every 30-40 minutes during the hours noted below. Tickets can be purchased on board all River Taxi boats. 

Hours
Friday, Oct. 26: 11 a.m. to midnight
Saturday, Oct. 27: 9 a.m. to midnight 
Sunday, Oct. 28: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Service fares
Special Event pricing all weekend. Cash only. 
$10 daily for an all-day hop-on, hop-off pass
Children ages 3 years old and younger: FREE

Stops (30-40 minute rotation)
The Jacksonville Landing
Friendship Fountain
Doubletree Hotel
Lexington Hotel
Metropolitan Park

All Landing parking inside of the parking garage at the corner of Bay and Hogan streets is $20. The proceeds go to Hurricane Michael relief efforts.

Game Preview

This year's game is big for the national rankings. The Gators come to Jacksonville ranked No. 9 in the latest AP poll while the Bulldogs are ranked No. 7.

David Waters, Gators Breakdown Podcast host discussed the importance of this game and what Florida can do to slow down the Bulldogs.

LISTEN: Gators Breakdown

Weather

Heavy rain should not spoil the iconic Georgia-Florida weekend as long as the forecast stays on schedule. If the timing works out, rain should push away Friday in time for a cooler but drier weekend.

As people tailgate days ahead of the game in RV City, gusty NE winds could be a problem for flying flags and may bend flimsy awning bracing. 

FULL FORECAST: It should be cool, dry for Georgia-Florida game

To learn more about Georgia-Florida 2018, visit its website here or visit the sports section on News4Jax.com by clicking here.