Jacksonville has an estimated population of 782,623 (2005) and a metropolitan population of over 1.3 million, making it the largest city in Florida. Jacksonville is in the First Coast region of northeast Florida on the banks of the St. Johns River. The city was renamed after Andrew Jackson in 1822; a bronze sculpture of him stands in downtown Jacksonville to this day. Jacksonville's location brings it all the of summer heat one would expect, however, it has suffered far less hurricane damage than most East Coast cities and has experienced only one direct hit since 1871.
Performance venues in Jacksonville include the Times-Union Center for Performing Arts, which is home to the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena is host to both concerts and sporting events. The Jacksonville Jaguars, an NFL team, is the city's most well known athletic team. The Gator Bowl is held here each year as well as the PGA's Player's Championship Tournament. Alongside its beautiful golf courses, Jacksonville is also home to one of the largest urban park systems in the United States. Wildlife enthusiasts should also check out the Jacksonville Zoo.
Jacksonville hosts many annual events popular with tourists and locals alike. In the music scene, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Planetfest, Springing the Blues and the Spring Music Fest are all favorites. May brings the Jacksonville Film Festival as well as the World of Nations Celebration. Local annual events include the Jacksonville Agricultural Fair which is held at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds & Exposition Center. The Fair not only has agriculture and livestock, but also live entertainment and carnival rides. Other events include July 4th Freedom, Fanfare and Fireworks, the Jacksonville International Boat Show and the Jacksonville Light Parade.