Family-friendly activities are held Aug. 2-3 at St. Johns Town Center, 4663 River City Drive, Southside. Live entertainment, giveaways and free samples are featured during Florida’s tax-free weekend. Dalton Cyr performs noon-3 p.m. Aug. 3. Proceeds benefit Wolfson Children’s Hospital. 998-7156, simon.com.
AN EVENING WITH MARK BRUNELL
Former Jaguars quarterback Brunell appears 5:30 p.m. Aug. 3 at Morocco Shrine Auditorium, 3800 St. Johns Bluff Rd. S., Southside. Brunell discusses his faith, family and football. Tickets are $25. 868-4398, 814-3931.
The second annual fundraiser is held 7-11 p.m. Aug. 3 at Casa Marina, 691 First St. N., Jax Beach. A photobooth, silent auction, raffle, DJ and hors d'oeuvres are featured. Tickets are $30; proceeds benefit Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville. Formal attire. adownsyndromeawarenessprom.eventbrite.com.
GREEN LION FESTIVAL
Promoting awareness of green-focused businesses, innovative organizations and community outreach, the event is held 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Aug. 3 at Aardwolf Brewery Grounds, 1461 Hendricks Ave., Riverside. Food trucks, wildlife and beer are featured. 301-0755, aardwolfbeer.com.
UNION GARRISON AT FORT CLINCH STATE PARK
An interpretive program of a soldier’s life in 1864 is presented 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 3 and 9 a.m.-noon Aug. 4 at Fort Clinch State Park, 2601 Atlantic Ave., Fernandina Beach. Ladies promenade in Civil War-era dresses, sutlers display wares and drummer boys … well, drum. Park entrance fee $6/vehicle plus $2 per person fort admission, 277-7274, floridastateparks.org.
The reptilian show is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 3, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 4 at University of North Florida's University Center, 12000 Alumni Drive, Southside. Reptiles, exotic pets, pet products, reptile-themed swag and live animal presentations are featured. One-day tickets at the door are $10 for adults, $5 for ages 5-12; 4 and younger are admitted free. For additional ticket info, go to repticon.com.
RETRORAMA POP CULTURE SHOW
The collectibles show is 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 4 at Ramada Inn Conference Center, 3130 Hartley Rd., Mandarin. Toys, dolls, comic books, posters and movie memorabilia are featured; the 1966 TV Batmobile is displayed. Bring in items for appraisal. Parking is free; admission $4; $1 for kids 12 and younger; jaxretrorama.com.
SUMMERFEST OPEN HOUSE
Keiser University holds an open house 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 3 at 6430 Southpoint Parkway, Southside. Refreshments, games, campus tours and prizes are featured. Programs in healthcare, business, technology and legal fields are discussed. (888) 844-8404; kuopenhouse.com.
This forum is held 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Aug. 6 at Peck Center, 516 S. 10th St., Fernandina Beach. Demonstrations by African-American hymnists Deacon Lawrence Williams and Laura Rhodes, netmaker Billy Burbank III, hip hop artists Mal Jones and Paten Locke and eco-heritage and eco-shrimping tour guide Kevin McCarthy are featured. State Folklorist Blaine Waide discusses documenting folklife. Free; (850) 245-6427, flheritage.com/preservation/folklife.
Shows are Beach Boys 7 p.m., Laser Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here 8 p.m., Laser Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon 9 p.m. and Laser Pink Floyd: The Wall 10 p.m. Aug. 2; online tickets $5, $1 laser glasses, Bryan-Gooding Planetarium, Museum of Science & History, 1025 Museum Circle, Southbank, 396-7062, moshplanetarium.org.
RIVERSIDE ARTS MARKET
Rose & Marco Acoustic Duo 10:30 a.m., Chillakaya 11:45 a.m., Savanna Leigh Bassett 2:30 p.m. Aug. 3. Local and regional art and a farmers market are featured 10 a.m.-4 p.m. every Sat., 715 Riverside Ave., Riverside, free, 389-2449, riversideartsmarket.com.
BOOKS & WRITING
SISTERS IN CRIME
The Sisters in Crime group (the only one in Florida) gathers 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 3 at Southeast Regional Library, 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd., Jacksonville. Jaclyn Weldon White discusses writing about true crime. A potluck lunch is provided, and a raffle and free books are featured. Free. For reservations, go to floridasistersincrime.com.
Walker Newton, author of six novels, including "The Sand Crab Chronicles," discusses "The Ins and Outs of Writing Your First Book" 2 p.m. Aug. 3 at Anastasia Island Branch Library, 124 Seagrove Main St., St. Augustine, 209-3730.
Bestselling author Fairstein discusses and signs copies of her new Alexandra Cooper mystery, “Death Angel,” 7 p.m. Aug. 2 at The BookMark, 220 First St., Neptune Beach, 241-9026.
ADULT BOOK GROUP
"Life of Pi" by Yann Martel is discussed 10 a.m.-noon Aug. 3 at Clay County Headquarters Library, 1895 Town Center Blvd., Fleming Island; free, 278-3722, ccpl.lib.fl.us.
BOOKS PLUS BOOK SIGNINGS
Florida author Mary Ann Bator-Gray signs copies of her children’s book, “Jaden and The Weejum,” noon July 31 and Aug. 4 at Books Plus, 107 Centre St., Fernandina Beach. Proceeds benefit animal rescue organizations. Author Annette Myers signs copies of her books, "The Big Sand Dune," and "The Shrinking Sands" 1 p.m. Aug. 1 and 6. Local author Bill Reynolds signs copies of his Jetty Man books, including the new "Pinky Toe," 10 a.m. Aug. 1 and 8. Bill Kinney signs copies of "Sanctuary" 11 a.m. Aug. 2. Cara Curtin signs copies of "Fernandina's Finest Easter" and "City Sidebar: The Book" 2 p.m. Aug. 2. Author Sandi Gordon ("The Journal") appears 11 a.m. Aug. 3. Alan Parker ("Daydream Believer") appears 11 a.m. Aug. 5. Local writer and former Jax Beach police chief Bruce Thomason signs copies of his books "Body Toll" and "The Six O'Clock Rule" 11 a.m. Aug. 8. 261-0303, booksplusamelia.com.
CLASSES & GROUPS
The club meets 6-8 p.m. Aug. 6 at Beaches Library, 600 Third St., Neptune Beach. Karen Stephenson discusses how to prepare and submit for print competition. Free. 240-8835, beachesphotographyclub.org.
Class for beginning and experienced loopy types, ages 10 and older, is held 1-3 p.m. every Wed. at The Players Senior Community Center, 175 Landrum Lane, Ponte Vedra Beach; ongoing class, $70 for six weeks, 280-3233.
COMEDY CLUB OF JACKSONVILLE
Improv Effect 7 p.m., Bendt Washburn 8:04 p.m. Aug. 1; Washburn is on 8:34 p.m. Aug. 2 and 8:04 and 10:10 p.m. Aug. 3 at 11000 Beach Blvd., Ste. 8, Southside. Tickets are $6-$50; 646-4277, jacksonvillecomedy.com.
Comedic superstar Mencia appears 8 p.m. Aug. 1 and 8 and 10 p.m. Aug. 2-3 at The Comedy Zone, Ramada Inn, 3130 Hartley Rd., Mandarin. Tickets are $25 and $30. Comedy Showcase 8 p.m. July 31 and Aug. 6-7. 292-4242, comedyzone.com.
HOT POTATO STANDUP COMEDY HOUR
Open mic comedy 8 p.m. every Wed. at The Norm, 2952 Roosevelt Blvd., Riverside. Admission is free, northfloridacomedy.com.
Comedian Grady appears 8 p.m. Aug. 2-3 at Latitude 30, 10370 Philips Highway, Southside, $10, 365-5555, latthirty.com.
JAZOO’S BIRTHDAY BASH
The annual Back to School Bash is 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 3 at Jacksonville Zoo’s Play Park, 370 Zoo Parkway, Jacksonville. It’s mascot Jazoo’s birthday, and games, animal encounters, treats and kid-friendly music are featured. 757-4463, jacksonvillezoo.org.
ADVENTURES IN THE ESTUARY MINI SUMMER CAMP
This camp, for 7-10 year olds, is 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 1 at GTM Research Reserve, 505 Guana River Rd., Ponte Vedra Beach. Kids learn about the estuary, its animals and their habitats. $30 fee includes a T-shirt, water bottle. To sign up, go to miniestuarycamp.eventbrite.com.
FREE AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAM K-3
A free literacy-based afterschool program for girls in grades K-3 is offered 3-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 2-6 p.m. on early release Wed., at Fort Caroline Elementary School, 3925 Athore Drive, Arlington and Arlington Heights Elementary School, 1520 Sprinkle Drive, Arlington. 731-9933, girlsincjax.org.
MIND, BODY & SOUL
Free discussions, for adults and youth, 5-6:30 p.m. every Sun. through Aug. 25 at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2487 A1A S., St. Augustine. To register, call 347-5293 or 471-0335.
WEIGHT WATCHERS, SMOKING CESSATION, TAI CHI, YOGA
Several classes and information sessions are offered weekly, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Sat., Florida Blue Center, 4855 Town Center Parkway, St. Johns Town Center, 482-0189, 877-352-5830, floridablue.com.
NATURE, SPORTS & OUTDOORS
The hometown Southern League baseball team takes on the Chattanooga Lookouts 1:05 p.m. July 31 (Businesspersons Special) at Bragan Field, Baseball Grounds, 301 Randolph Blvd., Downtown Jacksonville. Games continue 7:05 p.m. Aug. 1 (Thursday Night Throwdown), Aug. 2 against the Tennessee Smokies (Used Car Giveaway Night), Aug. 3 (Jimmy Buffett Night), Aug. 5 (St. Johns County Night), Aug. 6 (Folio Weekly Fifty-Cent Family Feast) and 6:05 p.m. Aug. 4 (Kids Run the Bases). Tickets range from $7.50-$22.50, 358-2846, jaxsuns.com.
Keepers of the Coast need volunteers for the final Summer Daze Beach Clean-Up 5 p.m. Aug. 2 at Jax Beach Pier, 503 First St. N., Jax Beach. Everyone gets a bag for trash, a bag for recycling and a bag for cigarette butts. The volunteer to collect the most cigarette butts wins Volcom prizes. 687-7694. keepersofthecoast.org
5K STADIUM CHALLENGE
The third annual challenge is 6 p.m. Aug. 2 at EverBank Field, Downtown. The run includes the stadium's six levels and there’s a Fun Run and walking courses. Entry fees are $35 till Aug. 1; $40 day of race; proceeds benefit Duval County youth programs, jaxevents.com.
JAX TRI SERIES OLYMPIC & SPRINT NO. 3
The first wave starts 7:30 a.m. Aug. 3 at Main Beach Park, 99 N. Fletcher Ave., Fernandina Beach. Two courses include swimming, biking and running. Post-race awards, music and food are featured. Individual registration is $95 for sprint day of race; $115 individual Olympic day of race; drcsports.com.
A park ranger discusses undeveloped beach habitat, sea creatures and shells, 2 p.m. Aug. 3 at Little Talbot Island's multi-use trail pavilion, south beach, 12157 Heckscher Drive, Jacksonville; free with regular park admission, 251-2320, floridastateparks.org.
GUIDED CULTURAL HIKE
The hike is 8:30 a.m. Aug. 3; meet at GTMRR Trailhead Pavilion west of Guana Dam, A1A South, Ponte Vedra. Wear comfy closed-toe shoes. $3/vehicle parking fee. To sign up, call 823-4500 or go to gtmnerrculturalhike.eventbrite.com.
DINOTREK AT THE ZOO
The exhibit features animatronic “dinosaur” creatures. Admission $3 for members, $3.50 for nonmembers, plus Zoo admission; open until 6 p.m. weekends and holidays through Labor Day, Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, 370 Zoo Parkway, 757-4463, jacksonvillezoo.org.
POLITICS, ACTIVISM & BUSINESS
SOUTHSIDE BUSINESS MEN’S CLUB
Curtis Dvorak (aka Jaxson DeVille) is the featured speaker noon July 31 at San Jose Country Club, 7529 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville; $20. For reservations, call 396-5559.
SMALL BUSINESS WORKSHOPS
QuickBooks for Small Business
is 1-4 p.m. Aug. 1 at Springfield Community Learning Center, 1601 N. Main St., Springfield; $60. Nonprofit Startup 101 is 1-3 p.m. Aug. 2 at Beaver Street Enterprise Center, 1225 W. Beaver St., Jacksonville; $20. 8(a) Essentials
is 9-11:30 a.m. Aug. 7; $40; Beaver Street Enterprise Center. 620-2476, sbdc.unf.edu.
Island Council meets 8:30 a.m. Aug. 7 at The Mustard Seed Cafe, 833 TJ Courson Rd., Fernandina Beach; free for members; $25 for nonmembers, 261-3248 ext. 107, email@example.com.
The oversight committee of this crime-fighting initiative meets 4 p.m. Aug. 15, Eighth Floor Conference Room 851, Ball Building, 214 N. Hogan St., Downtown, 630-7306, coj.net.
GREAT SOUTHERN TAILGATE COOK-OFF Aug. 23-24, Amelia Island
SOUTHERN WOMEN'S SHOW Oct. 17-20, Prime Osborn Convention Center
CRAIG FERGUSON Nov. 17, The Florida Theatre
ST. JOHNS RIVERKEEPER OYSTER ROAST Nov. 22, Garden Club of Jacksonville