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Noche de Gala: Happy 491st Birthday don Pedro Menendez de Aviles

ST. AUGUSTINE FOUNDER’S BIRTHDAY TO BE CELEBRATED AT LAVISH 16th CENTURY BALL

The 491st birthday of don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, the founder of the City of St. Augustine, will be celebrated on Saturday, February 27, with a lavish Noche de Gala featuring re-enactors and guests wearing authentic 16th century clothing, an impressive banquet and a colorful ball.

The celebration will begin at 5 p.m. at the ancient City Gate at the north end of St. George Street. Led by re-enactors, Noche de Gala guests will proceed to the Lightner Museum in a royal procession. At the Lightner, they will celebrate the birthday of Menendez at a cocktail reception followed by dinner and dancing in the museum’s beautiful ballroom.

Menendez, the Spanish admiral who founded St. Augustine on September 8, 1565, will be portrayed by Chaz Mena who is best known for his role as Judge Montaldo on NBC’s Law and Order. Last year, Mena presented a stunningly authentic performance as Menendez at a First Florida presentation in St. Augustine. At Noche de Gala, he will interact with the crowd gathered to celebrate his birthday. His noble bearing, exuberance and surprising sense of humor is guaranteed to both entertain and educate attendees.

Attire for guests is 16th century costume or black tie. Tickets are available for $185 per person for the full evening celebration or $50 for the cocktail reception only. Proceeds will benefit the City of St. Augustine’s historic preservation efforts. For reservations, call 904.825.5033. For more details on Noche de Gala, click here.

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