The St. John’s Episcopal Church in 1894. Courtesy of the Florida State Archives

Tonight, the Cathedral District will come alive with the hosting of the very first Christmas in the Cathedral District. Hosted by the Basilica of The Immaculate Conception Church, First United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville, Mount Zion AME Church, Simpson Memorial United Methodist Church and St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, the Cathedral District’s churches are opening their doors for a free walking tour so visitors can experience their beauty while they’re decorated for Christmas.

Throughout the night, docents will greet visitors inside each Cathedral District sanctuary for free tours, where guests will be treated to the sounds of choirs and Christmas music along the tour route. Furthermore, free hop-on-hop off transportation by TukTuk will be available for families with small children and the elderly.

Additional Christmas in the Cathedral District festivities include a live Nativity scene, a petting zoo, food court featuring cocktails, beer and wine and an artisan marketplace covering two full blocks of East Church Street, selling handmade crafts, unique gifts, jewelry and baked goods. Sponsored by Elena Flats LLC, Aging True Community Senior Services, Blue Sky Communities and Vestcor, Christmas in the Cathedral District will run tonight between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.