Jacksonville, FL - The crowd starting to file in to Jacksonville’s inaugural One Spark festival refuses to be deterred by the Boston Marathon explosions.
“I hope that everyone gets out and goes for a ride this weekend, and doesn’t let it [the bombing] stop them from what they love to do,” says Garfield Cooper, the owner of ZenCog Bicycle Company.
Cooper is not just renting bicycles, but offering repairs, parts and other services as well for festival goers, and he’s hoping to see a crowd that compared with estimates. Event organizers tell me the festival is expected to bring more than 100,000 people downtown over the five day event.
“Creators”- the inventors, artists and businessmen who are showcasing during One Spark- are bracing for an undeterred crowd as well.
“That’s the idea behind this particular one spark, is to have people come out,” says sculptor Terry Brennan.
He, in fact, thinks Jacksonville will show up in strong numbers to spite the terror the person(s) behind the bombing intended. He says this will be a great way for people to be creative and have f un in the face of the tragedy.
But for actual attendees, it’s not that easy to shake the Boston bombings.
“I will say that we mentioned it and thought about it,” says Westside resident Ralph Halloway.
Despite the second thought, Halloway says he’s likely to attend not just the kickoff, but several days of the festival in order to take everything in, ultimately feeling that the threat of an attack in Jacksonville is unlikely.
WOKV has spoken with event organizers leading up to the festival, and they have taken every measure possible to make sure it’s a safe and fun experience for all.