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This Weekend in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches

Friday: September 9

AESTHETIC CONNECTIONS ART EXHIBIT

Come see the works of three well-known artists at the opening of Aesthetic Connections at the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach. This exhibition features the textural, 3-dimensional works of Pablo Rivera with the smooth 2-dimensional paintings of Jean Banas and Diane Fraser. This special opening event will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach is located at 50 Executive Way and is open Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm.  Admission is free. For more information, visitwww.ccpvb.org, or call 904-280-0614.

AN EVENING WITH PEDRO MENENDEZ

Meet the Founder of St. Augustine, Florida as he discusses his life and times in a fascinating, first person portrayal. This special appearance and talk takes place at 7 p.m. at Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archeological Park, 11 Magnolia Avenue in St. Augustine. Admission is free. For more information, call 904.829.2874 or visitwww.fountainofyouthflorida.com.

COMEDIAN/MAGICIAN MARK ALAN AT THE PIONEER BARN

Bring the whole family for an evening of comedy and magic with Mark Alan. The show starts at 7 p.m. at the Pioneer Barn at the Fort Menendez, located at 259 San Marco Ave. in St. Augustine. Admission is $15 adults. And $10 for children accompanied by adult. For more information, call 904.824.8874, or visit www.FortMenenedez.com.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday: September 9 – 11

El CONQUISTADOR THRILL RIDE

Go for a thrilling, high-speed, one-hour ride across Matanzas Bay aboard El Conquistador, St. Augustine’s newest thrill ride.  Narrated tour features history, speed and fun aboard this powerful speedboat.  El Conquistador departs from the City Marina’s Slip 73.  Tickets are $39.50 for adults and $29.50 for children (ages 4-12).  Free for active duty military.  Special rates for groups of eight or more.  For safety reasons, children under four and pregnant women are not allowed onboard.    For information and reservations, go to www.elconspeedboat.com or call 904.738.4695.

MURDER MYSTERY DINNER THEATER

Experience the first theater on St. Augustine’s St. George Street since a terrible fire destroyed the Genovar Opera House in 1914.  The St. Augustine Murder Mystery Theatre features a great meal and exciting live entertainment at 8:30 p.m.  Tickets are $43.15 each.  For more information, call 904.671.2508 or go to www.StAugustineMurderMysteryDinnerTheater.com.

YACHT OF FUN

Have a captain and a fun-equipped 22-foot boat at your service from dawn to dusk! Yacht of Fun takes up to six people on a full day of whatever passengers prefer – fishing, swimming, stopping at waterfront restaurants, sunning – you name it.  The boat leaves from St. Augustine and offers the perfect way to spend a day. The rate is $60 per person for a party of six.  For more information, go to www.yachtoffun.net or call Cap’n Mike at 352.246.3836

WEEKEND ON THE WATER

Choose from any of three types of fun (sailing, boating and kayaking) and get $5 off on adult tickets! Experienced guides ensure a safe and educational adventure and small group size allow for personal attention. Fantastic wildlife sightings! Lots of tour times available (including Monday!) . For full details, call 904.377.7245 or go towww.staugustineecotours.com .

MUSIC AT SARA’S CREPE CAFÉ

Combine delicious fresh crepes, authentic Old World charm and outstanding music at Sara’s Crepe Café, 100 St. George Street in St. Augustine. From 8-11 p.m. on Friday,the dynamic duo of Maja & Gitana blend violin and acoustic guitar while singing Latin, Gypsy and Jazz.On Saturday from 7-11 p.m. and again on Sunday from 7-10 p.m., The always-popular Groov Band will provide an entertaining backdrop for delicious crepes,  For more information, call 904.810.5800.

BEACH HORSEBACK RIDING

Experience the fun and excitement of horseback riding at the edge of the sea.  Country Carriages offer daily one-hour rides (weather and tides permitting) from Surfside Park on Vilano Beach.  The cost is $75 per person.  For reservations (a must) and more information, call 904.826.1982.

Saturday: September 10

FOUNDER’S DAY CELEBRATION

Witness a re-enactment of the 1565 landing of St. Augustine’s founder, Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles. Following the reenactment of the founding of the city, there will be a presentation about St. Augustine and America’s Spanish history, then a celebration of Mass at the Mission’s outdoor altar. Following the Celebration of Mass, there will be informative presentations by guest speakers and a procession to the Mission Museum. Festivities begin at 9 a.m. at the Mission Nombre de Dios, located at 27 Ocean Street (off San Marco Avenue) in St. Augustine. Admission is free. Other activities celebrating the founding of St. Augustine will take place throughout the day at various locations. For more information, visit www.FloridaLivingHistory.org.

KAYAK TOUR OF PELLICER CREEK

Join a certified naturalist guide for a paddling tour on the pristine waters of Pellicer Creek. This tour, which departs from Favor Dykes State Park, is a natural expeditionfrom river to sea, following the path of dolphins, sea turtles, fish and eagles. The cost is $55 per person which includes free admission into the park, guide service, and the finest kayaking equipment. To ensure a high quality experience space is limited. Favor Dykes State Park is located at 1000 Favor Dykes Rd. off US 1 South near I-95 exit 298 in St. Augustine. For more information, call 904.347.1565 or visitwww.RippleEffectEcotours.com.

HISTORIC WEAPONS FIRING DEMONSTRATION

Take the National Park Service’s ferry to Rattlesnake Island and experience daily military life at Fort Matanzas – the 18th century Spanish fort that guarded the southern approach to St. Augustine.  From 10:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., authentically clad re-enactors will demonstrate historic weapons at the fort.  Admission is free.  Fort Matanzas National Monument is located on A1A at the south end of Anastasia Island approximately 15 miles south of St. Augustine.  For more information, call904.471.0116 or visit www.nps.gov/foma.

Saturday and Sunday:  September 10 – 11

16TH CENTURY ST. AUGUSTINE HISTORIC ENCAMPMENT

Visit Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archeological Park to learn more about the 1565 founding of the nation’s oldest city through authentic interactive re-enactments and demonstrations. On Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be lively discussions on 16th century life ways featuring renowned speakers from many historic disciplines. On Saturday, the Official landing reenactment, formal Mass and presentation by Dr. Michael Gannon will take place at the Mission Nombre de Dios historic site next door. On Saturday evening, enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of a 16th Century Feast complete with costumed characters. On Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will be a Distinguished Speaker’s presentation where attendees can learn about the archaeology, people and events related to this important Historic Site and the founding of St. Augustine, Florida. The Fountain of Youth is located at 11 Magnolia Avenue in St. Augustine. Admission is free for St. Johns County residents with ID. For more information, call 904.829.2874 or visit www.fountainofyouthflorida.com.

OLDEST CITY KAYAK TRIP

Depart from the Nation’s oldest city on an eco-tastic kayak experience! Experience salt marshes and the wildlife species that call this productive habitat home.  Lucky paddlers have seen both shorebirds and green sea turtles!  Super convenient departure location at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina. 10am-12pm.  $40/adult, $30 ages 6-12. Call St. Augustine Eco Tours at 904-377-7245 for reservations. www.staugustineecotours.com

Sunday: September 13

22ND ANNUAL ENDLESS SUMMER WATERMELON RIDE

Get ready for this annual ride with the North Florida Bicycle Club. The ride will begin at the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort and Convention Center, located at 500 Legacy Trail, off I-95 exit 323 at World Golf Village in St. Augustine. The ride will feature a 34, 70 and 105-mile loop option. Most routes are on lightly traveled rural roads. Throughout the day the festive atmosphere at the Renaissance will feature local bicycle shops who will be offering great deals on cycles, apparel and accessories. For more information, visit www.nfbc.us or call 904-955-2287.

CEREMONY OF REMEMBRANCE

Be a part of the City of St. Augustine’s Annual Remembrance Ceremony — a community gathering to remember those who died in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.The ceremony will be held at the St. Augustine Fire Department’s main station, 101 Malaga Street in St. Augustine at 8:30 a.m. The brief program will include a presentation of the colors by the St. Augustine Police Department Honor Guard, an invocation and musical presentations as well a brief remarks from city officials. The ceremony will conclude with a minute of silence at 8:45 a.m., timed to coincide with the time the first plane hit the first tower of the World Trade Center in 2001.The event is coordinated by the City’s Public Affair Department. For more information call904.825.1004.

“POETREE” IN THE PARK

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear, create and share poetry in the pristine natural settings of Washington Oaks Gardens State Park. Event activities include a poetry reading walkabout among the trees and a creative poetry writing exercise.   At the end of the “Poetree” Walkabout, participants are encouraged to write a short poem with guidance from experienced poets, then enter their poems for a chance to win 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes! The “Poetree” program takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, located at 6400 North Oceanshore Blvd., about 15 miles south of St. Augustine in Palm Coast. In celebration of Literacy Month, admission is free with the presentation of a library card. For more information, call 386-446-6783.

NOTE: St. Johns County residents with a valid ID are always admitted free of charge to the Lightner Museum, the Fountain of Youth (special events excluded), theXimenez-Fatio House, the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse, and the Spanish Military Hospital Museum. The daily tours and wine tastings at the San Sebastian Winery arefree to everyone. Also, admission is free to everyone at the Authentic Old Drug StoreFort Matanzas National MonumentSt. Photios Chapel, the Pena-Peck House, the Father Miguel O’Reilly Museum and the Mission Nombre de Dios Museum (donations are welcomed).

NEW: St. Johns County residents who purchase full-price admisssion to the St. Augustine Lighthouse ($9.50 adults; $7.50 seniors and children 12 and under; free for children under 44 inches in height) can now receive a pass good for free admission for an entire year! The Lighthouse is now open until 7 p.m. on  Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights through mid-August. Also, on the first Monday of each month, St. Johns County residents are admitted free to the Dow Museum of Historic Houses, 246 St. George Street, St. Augustine.

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