Living History and Lectures Mark 498th Anniversary of Florida Discovery
In preparation for the 500th Anniversary of Don Ponce de Leon’s discovery and naming of La Florida, Florida Living History Inc. will commemorate the famed explorer’s landing in Florida with living history presentations and a series of lectures providing new insight into the Spanish explorer’s voyage and the land and people he encountered. The living history presentations and lectures are scheduled for April 2nd and 3rd – the 498th anniversary of Ponce’s discovery — at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, 11 Magnolia Avenue in St. Augustine. Admission to this new lecture series is free of charge.
On both Saturday and Sunday, living history demonstrations and special programs will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Plus, visitors are welcome to experience an authentic early-16thcentury Spanish encampment. Admission to the park is $10 for adults; $9 for seniors and $6 for children ages 6-12. St. Johns County residents with ID are admitted at no charge.
Funded by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council through the National Endowment for the Humanities, the lectures by leading authorities will shed new light on a voyage that will be celebrated in 2013 with great fanfare throughout the Sunshine State.
The lectures include:
Saturday: April 2
11 a.m. – Prelude to La Florida: An Archaeological Perspective on the World of Juan Ponce in America, 1493-c.1513, Dr. Kathleen Deagan, Distinguished Research Curator Emerita, Lockwood Professor of Caribbean and Florida Archaeology, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida.
1 p.m. – A Sailor’s Life in the Early Spanish Caribbean, Dr. Samuel P. Turner, Director of Archaeology, Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program, St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum.
3 p.m. – New Currents in La Florida’s History: The Post-Ponce Southeast, Dr. Susan R. Parker, Executive Director, St. Augustine Historical Society.
Sunday: April 3
2 p.m. – “I, Juan Garrido”: The Life of a Black Conquistador, a historical interpretation by Mr. James Bullock, playwright and author.
More details on the weekend events may be found at www.floridalivinghistory.org
Long associated with Don Ponce de Leon’s momentous voyage of 1513, Florida’s Historic Coast (St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches) will serve as a center of studies and events related to the 500th anniversary of the first major landing by Europeans on the shores of what would become the continental United States. For more information on upcoming events and vacation opportunities on Florida’s Historic Coast, go to www.FloridasHistoricCoast.com or call 1.800.653.2489.