Your GPS can’t tell you how to get to Shakedown Street but this Sunday, August 10, 2014, at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum and adjacent grounds you will find the closest thing to it that Jacksonville has to offer. That’s right folks it’s time for the annual China Cat Festival!
Sunday will mark the 19th festival. The event is a celebration of Jerry Garcia's life. For any non deadheads that’s “Jerry” lead guitar, singer and songwriting of the band the Grateful Dead. Not to be confused with Cherry Garcia of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream fame, which was named in his honor, though you may want some ice cream as it will be August in Florida. The festival is named after the Grateful Dead song, the China Cat Sunflower.
The inaugural event was in 1996. The festival was founded by Brenda Star Walker as a living tribute to Garcia. The China Cat Festival is held on the second Sunday of August, between Garcia’s birthday and the day he died. This year’s China Cat Festival will be held at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum and the adjacent grounds. Doors open at 3:00 PM, admission is free. The festivities begin at 4:20 PM and last until 11:00 PM.
Dirt Floor Krackers, The Ouija Brothers, Glass Camels and others will be performing and the Rhythm & Flow Drum Circle will be up and drumming. There will be vending inside the museum, more drumming and hula hooping. There will be all sorts of interesting musical collectibles and pottery. There will be many other vendors and artist. The event is family friendly.
Tentative schedule is as follows;
Rhythm & Flow Drum Circle 4:20 PM - 5:20 PM
August West 5:25 PM - 6:25 PM
Dirt Floor Krackers 6:30 PM - 7:45 PM
Ouija Brothers 8:00 PM - 9:15 PM
Glass Camels 9:30 PM - 11:00 PM
Karpeles Manuscript Museum
101 W 1st St
Jacksonville, Florida 32206