Affair on the new square brings community together

By Lara Patangan
Resident Community News

Amelia Day and her family enjoyed the evening

Amelia Day and her family
enjoyed the evening

The unveiling of San Marco Square took place last month as neighbors strolled through stunning Balis Park listening to a live band, the frolic of small children who enjoyed the expanded green space and the celebration of business owners who catered to eager shoppers with extended store hours.

San Marco Preservation Society president Reese Riggle thought the Thursday evening event was a perfect way to showcase the recent renovations that are the end result of neighborhood and City efforts to improve the aesthetics and walkability of San Marco Square, making the months of gritty construction worthwhile. “Everything looked beautiful. The fountain in Balis Park was on and lit. Everyone I saw was happy and having a good time,” Riggle explained. “All the shops we went into had a good turn out and everyone seemed pleased.”

Jenny Parker and her young daughter, Ellana enjoyed the live music by CJ Fluharty in Balis Park. The Parkers moved to San Marco less than a year ago and are happy to see the outcome of the construction. “We love it,” Parker said. “We wanted a place we

CJ Fluharty, Tim Fluharty and Erin Campbell strike up a tune

CJ Fluharty, Tim Fluharty and Erin Campbell strike up a tune

could walk to so it’s nice that it’s all done.”

San Marco Bookstore owner Desiree Bailey feels that even though merchants and residents had to endure extended construction, the improvements are well worth it. “It was a lovely night and really neat to see so many people walking in San Marco,” said Bailey. “The bookstore was full of old and new customers and it felt like our community came out to enjoy the best of Jacksonville!”

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