Google+

St. Augustine’s 450th Birthday Party

On Saturday, September 4, the Nation’s oldest city, will celebrate its 445th birthday with an authentic re-creation of its founding, a procession featuring its founder’s casket, and the opening of a magnificent new museum. In addition, special activities will focus on the Native Americans who greeted the Spaniards in 1565 and the celebration of the First Thanksgiving. Of course, there will be free birthday cake for everyone!

St. Augustine was founded on September 8, 1565 when Spanish military forces and colonists came ashore to establish a base of operations against French trespassers in La Florida. Commanded by Admiral don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, the base was named St. Augustine because the fleet had sighted La Florida on August 28, the feast day of St. Augustine, and because Augustine was also the patron saint of Aviles, Spain – the birthplace of Menendez. People of European descent have been living continuously in St. Augustine since that Saturday in 1565, making it the oldest city in the continental United States.

The birthday celebration gets underway on Thursday, September 2 in the town’s Plaza de la Constitucion. Free birthday cake will be distributed to everyone attending the free 7 p.m. Concert in the Plaza. City officials and Royal Family will participate in the cake-cutting ceremony.

When the Spaniards arrived, they found a large Native American village called Seloy already located at the present day site of Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archeological Park located at 11 Magnolia Avenue. In fact, it was here that the Spaniards quickly dug defensive positions on the first days of St. Augustine’s existence. Menendez lived here with the natives known as Timucuas. This year’s birthday activities will include a special Celebration of Those Who Were Already Here. Beginning on Friday and continuing through Sunday, the Fountain of Youth will feature an encampment with re-enactors portraying Timucuas and the Spanish soldiers and colonists who lived here during the early days of the city’s history. The encampment will open each day at 9 a.m.

On Saturday at 4:45 p.m., the First Thanksgiving will be re-enacted on the grounds of the Fountain of Youth. This well-documented event occurred on this site on September 8, 1565 when Timucuas and Spaniards shared their food in a Feast of Thanksgiving. The re-enactment will include a cooking contest with entries limited to ingredients that would have been readily available on that date at that location. The public will be invited to sample the entries. Admission to the Fountain of Youth is free for St. Johns County residents. For more information about the encampment and cooking contest, call 904.829.3168.

The colorful and dramatic re-enactment of The Landing will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday when Menendez arrives by boat at the Mission Nombre de Dios on San Marco Avenue, adjacent to the Fountain of Youth and the exact landing point of the Spanish colonists in 1565. After the landing, Dr. Bonnie McEwan, director of Mission San Luis, will speak about the importance of Mission Nombre de Dios, the first mission established here by the Spaniards. Bishop Victor Galeone will conduct a Celebration Mass at the mission’s outdoor altar — on the grounds where Father Lopez performed mass on the day of the City of St. Augustine’s birth 445 years ago. Following mass, a procession of 16th century Spanish soldiers will carry the actual casket of Pedro Menendez in a solemn procession to its new home in the new Mission Nombre de Dios Museum. Bishop Galeone will provide a blessing and dedication ceremony for the new museum. All of these events are free and open to the public. For more information about the landing re-enactment at the museum, go to www.MissionandShrine.org or call 904.824.2809.

Full details on all of the Birthday Celebration events can be found on the City of St. Augustine’s website www.staugustinesbirthday.com .

The 445thAnniversary of the Founding of St. Augustine received support from the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council and is sponsored by Mission Nombre de Dios and La Compania de Santiago. For information on other events and vacation opportunities on Florida’s Historic Coast go to www.FloridasHistoricCoast.com or call 800.653.2489.

Entertainment

Love Gurus Date Despite Philosophical Differences in Delightful Romantic Romp

  The Bounce Back Film Review by Kam Williams Love Gurus Date Despite Philosophical Differences in Delightful Romantic Romp   Love guru Matthew Taylor (Shemar Moore) is the author of the new best seller, "The Bounce Back." Accompanied by his enterprising business manager, Terry (Bill Bellamy), he's been hawking the self-help book on plenty of TV and radio programs. Since Terry believes that "Image is everything," he's concerned that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This

  Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This Book Review by Amy Lignor What began in an unforgettable Volume 1—living Jerry Hall’s story and dealing with the heart-wrenching issues of the Viet Nam* War—continues here. The action of battle, fraught with the unending horrors that the “unwanted veterans” dealt with, grows even more painful. And as war comes closer to an end, what should have been peaceful … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Inside WildAid

  Inside WildAid by Amy Lignor   Donations can be made. Time can be volunteered. There are a great number of charities, organizations and hard workers out there who strive with everything they have to save the animals of the world. The National Wildlife Administration, the World Wildlife Federation – these are just two leaders that help keep our beloved species’ on the map. There is also an organization whose sole mission is to end … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Skeeter Boats Comes Up with Cure for Cabin Fever

  Skeeter Boats Comes Up with Cure for Cabin Fever By Craig Lamb   If you are overdosing on TV fishing shows, mindlessly flipping through tackle catalogs, or feeling down and don’t know why, then you are not alone. Count yourself among most of the fishermen in the entire country. We have cabin fever. It’s common this time of year when hunting and football overtake wetting a line on the list of weekend priorities. Or, it’s just plain too … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season

  The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season by Amy Lignor     Okay…we’re almost dead center, folks, so it’s time to sum up the best and silliest actions and reactions that the 2016 NFL season has provided fans thus far.   Analysts are always yapping, and most likely nothing they say will actually come true. However, right now almost everyone is agreeing to the fact that Tom Brady has a score to settle. Yes, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Charity Begins at Home

  Charity Begins at Home by Amy Lignor   Turning a blind eye is easy for some; preferred by others. But the fact is that the bad doesn’t become good – in any area – unless eyes are open wide to not only see what’s occurring, but also to gain the knowledge needed to stop the bad from getting even worse. Remarks are made about “other countries” and what they do wrong when it comes to the harming of animals for profit. However, in … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe

  Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe by Amy Lignor   Thanksgiving has been had. Games have been watched and the golden turkey has caused a great many belts to be loosened. So…here it comes!   From hanging the stockings on the chimney with care to the red-nosed reindeer who had to be there; from Santa heading down that chimney just right to lovely sleigh bells ringing softly in the night, the holiday season is a truly … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Forecasting Climate Change

  Forecasting Climate Change by Amy Lignor As with anything in this world, it depends on whose opinion or observations you trust as to just how bad climate change is becoming. As 2016 begins to wrap up, climate scientists, atmospheric physicists, chemists, oceanographers – you name it – no one can come up with any other explanation for climate change and the warming of our planet other than human activity. How fast is it happening? … [Read More its Good for You...]