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

Oscar Predictions 2017

  Oscar Predictions 2017 Your Guide to the Academy Awards by Kam Williams   Will La La Land make history by eclipsing the record of 11 Academy Awards? Damien Chazelle's magical homage to the Hollywood musical definitely has a decent shot. After all, it's a lock to win in 5 categories: Best Picture, Director, Score, Original Song, and Sound Mixing. And it 's the heavy favorite in another 5: Lead Actress, Cinematography, Costume Design, … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

The President’s Kitchen Cabinet

  The President's Kitchen Cabinet The Story of the African-Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas by Adrian Miller University of North Carolina Press Hardcover, $30.00 292 pages, Illustrated ISBN: 978-1-4696-3253-7 Book Review by Kam Williams “[This opus] vividly tells the stories of the African-Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards … [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

History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder

  History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Amy Lignor   For the longest time, scientists and archaeologists have been confused and bemused by various discoveries they’ve unearthed that offer little or no explanation as to the who, what, and why of the people who created these things or left them behind. Even now, in 2017, there are discoveries being studied; stories that were once legends now have actual bits of proof being found that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Trump and Traditions of the Founders

  Trump and Traditions of the Founders By Ezrah Aharone Maybe I should watch more CNN or MSNBC to be convinced since most Black people seemingly regard Donald Trump as some sort of abrupt political mutation who violates America’s traditions. What I see in Trump is “America’s traditional reflection in the mirror.” I see the exact same hardline and hostile government that the founders deliberately engineered with deep political and racial … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

See What’s New with Yamaha Outboards

    See What's New with Yamaha Outboards By Craig Lamb Getting to see shiny new boats at a boat show is a given. What’s not is getting to take a test ride, and do it in sunny, warm weather. You can do it all at the 2017 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show®. This year’s event, conveniently scheduled during President’s Day weekend, is Feb. 16-20. The show has a new home at the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin on … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Looking Forward to the NFL’s “Top” Free Agents

  Looking Forward to the NFL’s “Top” Free Agents by Amy Lignor   Now that the Patriots have (once again) walked away with the Super Bowl title, it is time that the NFL teams focus on the draft and what free agents they need to most definitely keep on their roster. The Pittsburgh Steelers always seem to be on all the “experts” lists to make it to the end and finally get back to the Super Bowl’s main stage. Unfortunately, the Steelers can’t … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Business Industries to Explore in 2017

  Business Industries to Explore in 2017 by Amy Lignor   It’s no surprise that with the popular TV show “Shark Tank” taking over the headlines, promoting small businesses and giving people the chance to ‘make it big,’ that the industry researchers have gotten together a list of the very best opportunities when it comes to starting up companies in 2017. The profits are there, in some categories, just waiting to be made, and most do … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

It’s Time to Save for Summer Vacation!

  It’s Time to Save for Summer Vacation! by Amy Lignor   Putting the “pennies in the piggy bank” is something everyone in this world does (or wants to do) on a daily basis. But NOW is the time to take those “extra” pennies and purchase that great piggy bank that’s perhaps wearing some sunglasses, a colorful hat, some swim trunks…anything that makes that new piggy remind you of the one thing you want to do all year long – go on the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]