Walter Jones Historical Park
December 7 from 11 am – 4 pm


Admission to Winter Celebration is free, but the hayride and s’mores do have a donation request to cover the expenses. Parking is available across the street thanks to our wonderful neighbors, Mandarin Presbyterian Church. Cross at the bridge only. Please DO NOT park along the road. The Mandarin Presbyterian Church has a Food Bank for local residents. Please bring some canned items to donate – leave at the bridge in their parking lot – just before you cross Mandarin Road to the park.



This year marks the 20th year that Mandarin Museum & Historical Society has hosted Winter Celebration in Walter Jones Historical Park!

This annual free event has become a family tradition for many and is well known for opportunities to learn about some exciting local history, enjoy good music, and just have some plain old-fashioned fun.

This date is also the 78th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, the day that began America’s entry into World War II. Please join us in front of the museum for a special program called “Mandarin Remembers Pearl Harbor” from 11:15 am – 12 pm.

The Mandarin Remembers Pearl Harbor program includes:

・a flag ceremony
・the singing of the National Anthem by MMHS volunteers Camille and Camiya Ferron
・introductions of six local residents who are World War II veterans
・a short talk by MMHS volunteer Paul Ghiotto on why it is so important to always remember this date

・three vintage WWII Army Jeeps on display with reenactors and period objects
・1940s and patriotic music played by the Clay County Swing Band
・photos and educational posters throughout the park


The 2019 Winter Celebration includes:

🍊 All historic buildings in the park open, including: the 1875 Webb/Jones Farmhouse (will be decorated by the Mandarin Garden Club); 1898 St. Joseph’s Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children; 1876 barn; and the Losco Winery

🍊 On display in the Mandarin Museum: “A Soldier’s Story” exhibition about Pvt. Marion Losco; Maple Leaf artifacts; a feature on Harriet Beecher Stowe; and pottery by Mandarin artist Charlie Brown

🍊 Meet the Maple Leaf divers in the Mandarin Museum: learn about this National Historic Landmark (Civil War shipwreck site in the St. Johns River) from the men who recovered artifacts

🍊 Music Schedule
12:30 – 1:30: Ryan Sinclair, African Drummer
1:30 – 2:30: Clay County Swing Band, music of the 40s and patriotic
2:30 – 3:00: Camille and Camiya Ferron, vocalists
1:00 – 2:30:  acoustic music circle

🍊 Book signings with Mandarin children’s book authors
12:00 – 1:00: Jane Wood (in the museum)
12:00 – 2:00: David Gaslin (near the schoolhouse)
1:30 – 2:30: June Weltman (in the museum)


More events throughout the Walter Jones Historical Park:

🍊 Historic reenactors: Union and Confederate soldiers with an encampment of period tents, weapons and uniforms of the common foot soldier; Union Naval display; Golden Teacup Society (Civil War-era civilian women); World War II reenactors with period Jeeps

🍊 Reenactors from the Fort Mose Historical Society and representatives of Jacksonville Gullah Geeche Nation CDC will be sharing the area’s rich African-American heritage

🍊 Santa Claus in the farmhouse

🍊 Horse-drawn hayrides

🍊 Demonstrations of bridge playing, weaving, and quilting

🍊 First Coast Plein Aire Painters throughout the park

🍊 Nature crafts and rock painting for kids

🍊 Old fashioned children’s games

🍊 Antique cars

🍊 S’mores

🍊 Public services information: Mandarin Library’s South Mandarin Branch (sign up for a library card); City of Jacksonville Parks, Recreation, and Community Services

🍊 Other non-profits sharing information and opportunities: Mandarin Garden Club; UF Extension Office; Mandarin Community Club; American Legion Post 373; Greenscape of Jacksonville; Education First; Alliance Francaise de Jacksonville and Jacksonville Naval Museum.

🍊 The museum gift shop will be stocked with unique holiday gift ideas. Books and art prints are on sale by local authors and local artists. Also, this is the only place anywhere to buy Mandarin history ornaments, the “historic places” blanket, and the special Mandarin Frogs and Sea Turtles. The new annual ornament this year is Mandarin Super Market.

🍊 Food vendors: Marco’s Pizza and The Poppin Box


THANK YOU to the 75 or so dedicated MMHS volunteers who will be here this day to welcome you, tell you stories, and provide fun and educational things for your family to do. We could not open our doors without them! And, to volunteer Matt Arpen for our beautiful poster!

Thanks to the Rotary Club of Mandarin and Bank of America for providing extra volunteers. To Minuteman Press for printing our map and schedules and to Bealls for providing a mannequin  for our WWII uniform. We are also grateful for our Winter Celebration sponsors. Please support all of these local businesses because they have supported us!

Winter Celebration sponsors: Fresh Market; Twisted Compass Brewing Co.; Metro Diner; Hagan Ace; Mitch Wright of Edward Jones Fruit Cove; American Legion Post # 372; Zulos Pizza; PDQ Julington Creek; Marco’s Pizza; The Poppin Box; Night Lite Pediatrics; Minuteman Press and Bealls


Highlights from past Winter Celebrations

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