Riverside Avenue looked a little brighter thanks to the Garden Club of Jacksonville during Riverside Avondale Preservation Luminaria 2019. The Garden Club hosted its first Luminaria Night event on December 15 with holiday lights, beverages, small bites, lawn games, music, and the best tour in town from Go Tuk’n.

Guests reserved rides from Go Tuk’n and enjoyed open-air rides through the lights of Riverside and Avondale on authentic European Tuk Tuks with heated seats and blankets.

Photos by Brandi Hill

Over the last few weeks, Executive Director Denise M. Reagan contacted all of the businesses along Riverside Avenue from the Fuller Warren Bridge to Memorial Park, asking them to participate in the event. If a business paid for the luminaria kits, Garden Club volunteers would assemble, place, and remove them after the event concluded. Eight business participated:

A small but mighty group of volunteers assembled the kits on the front lawn of the Garden Club, then carted them in wagons up and down Riverside Avenue. We couldn’t have done it without Garden Club members Martha Davis, Tiffany Davis, John Hoogesteger, and Reagan Hoogesteger.

Throughout the evening, guests gathered in front of the Garden Club’s iconic white columns, sampling food provided by Chef’s Garden Catering & Events and sipping beverages provided by Riverside Liquors. Garden Club member Jennifer Newsman brought a couple of trays of holiday treats.

The building was decked out in lights, including a dazzling display provided by Garden Club member Debbie Byrd.