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

Friday:  May 1
BROWN BAG LUNCH LECTURE AT GTM RESEARCH RESERVE
Pack your lunch and head up to the GTM Research Reserve for an informative lecture about Grazers, Drought, and Die-Off in Florida Marshes. Presented by the reserve’s Graduate Research Fellowship student, Schuyler van Montfrans, the lecture will focus on the role of the purple marsh crab and its role as a consumer in driving foundation species shifts.  The talk takes place at noon in the GTM Research Reserve Environmental Education Center located at 505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach (8 miles north of Vilano Beach). For more information, call 904.823.4500. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                              FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Join one of St. Augustine’s most popular cultural events on the first Friday of every month.  Enjoy the latest exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments at over 20 participating galleries – plus, great food courtesy of the St. Augustine Independent Restaurant Association.  Tours begin at Rembrandtz American Craft Gallery, 131 King Street.  Galleries are open from 5 to 9 p.m.  St. Augustine Sightseeing Trains and Old Town Trolleys offer attendees a complimentary shuttle service to most of the galleries.  Shuttles run on a continuous loop every 30 minutes.  For more information, call 904.829.0065 or visit www.artgalleriesofstaugustine.com.
 
JAMES TAYLOR IN CONCERT
Enjoy hits like Sweet Baby James, Fire and Rain, Something in the Way She Moves, and You’ve Got a Friend when singer/songwriter James Taylor performs at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre.  Gates open at 7:00 and the show begins at 8:00 p.m. at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, located at 1340 A1A South in St. Augustine.  For more information, call 904.471.1965 or visit www.StAugAmphitheatre.com.           
 
Friday and Saturday: May 1 & 2
 
FIRST COAST OPERA: Romanza: Songs Of Love
Celebrate music with a loved one with an evening of favorite love songs, from opera arias to twentieth century standards. Romanza will feature a talented cast of professional singers, along with a full chorus, ballroom dancing and more, including time for the audience to dance. Roses, champagne and other romantic temptations will be available. There will also be a silent auction of romantic gift baskets and other items fitting the theme of the event. Romanza will be performed both evenings at 8 p.m. at the St. Johns County Agricultural Center, 3125 Agricultural Center Drive off of State Road 16 in St. Augustine. Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 at the door. For more information and reservations, call 904.417.5555 or visit www.firstcoastopera.com.
 
Friday, Saturday and Sunday: May 1- 3
 
14TH ANNUAL GAMBLE ROGERS FOLK FESTIVAL
Enjoy the very best in folk music at this annual three-day celebration of the music, stories and dance that made Gamble Rogers famous.  There will be eight stages of continuous acts and a special Friday and Saturday night performances include Gatorbone; Willy Caflin “Sorry is as Sorry Does – Gamble Rogers tribute; Jesse Winchester; and Missy Raines and the New Hip.   Friday night admission is $25.  An all-day and night Saturday pass is $40.  A day-only Saturday pass (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) is $25 and a Saturday evening pass is $25.  Admission for Sunday (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) is $25.  A full weekend pass is $60 in advance and $75 at the door.  Children under 12 are free with a paid adult (excluding Saturday night’s performance, when admission for children is $10).  The festival will be held at the St. Johns County Fairgrounds located on State Road 207, 7 miles west of I-95.  For more information, call 904.826.3297 or visit www.gamblerogersfest.org.
 
FREE LESSON MONTH AT WORLD GOLF VILLAGE
Take advantage of free golf lessons by the working pros at World Golf Village King and Bear and Slammer and Squire golf courses through the month of May. Participating professional instructors will offer free, 10-minute lessons from participating throughout the month. Free Lesson Month is ideal for a variety of golfers, giving beginners an easy and casual program for a quick introduction to the game and offering avid golfers professional instruction on fine-tuning their game. World Golf Village is located at Exit 323 off I-95 in St. Augustine. For more information and reservations, call 904-940-6088.
 
Saturday:  May 2
 
LIVING HISTORY DAY AT FORT MATANZAS
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 Spanish muskets and cannons 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, call 904.471.0116 or visit www.nps.gov/foma.
 
CHANGING OF FLAGS AT CASTILLO DE SAN MARCOS
Step back in time at this re-creation of the Change of Flags ceremony that formally transferred Florida from Spanish to English rule at the end of the French and Indian Wars. Re-enactors dressed in both British and Spanish uniforms of the period will recreate the formal ceremony. Presentations and demonstrations of period military equipment and arms, and the 18th century soldier’s experience will be involved. The Ceremony takes place form 10 to 11 a.m. and from 2 to 3 p.m.  Admission to the Castillo de San Marcos, located on St. Augustine’s Bayfront, is $6 for adults and free to children 15 and under. For more information, call 904.829.6506 x233, email Jeff_Edel@nps.gov, or visit www.nps.gov/casa.
 
Sunday:  May 3
 
GTM PRESERVE PHOTO EXPEDITION
Join Florida Master Naturalist and nature photographer Craig O’Neal to learn about different photography techniques and landscape and wildlife photography. Craig will guide you along 3 to 4 miles of the trail systems including freshwater and saltwater Savannahs, upland hammocks and deep water canals in search of wildlife encounters.  The walk leaves from Guana Dam trailhead pavilion, located at 505 Guana River Road, by 7:30 a.m. Please be prepared to walk at least 3 to 4 miles and allow up to 3 hours. All levels of photography experience are welcomed. Participation is $25 per person, plus a $3 admission fee per vehicle. Registration and prepayment are required. For more information, call 904.823.4500 or visit www.GTMNERR.org.
 
ST AUGUSTINE ART ASSOCIATION SPRING MEMBER SHOW OPENING
Enjoy the works of the many talented members of the St. Augustine Art Association. The show includes works of all subjects and media. The Opening Reception takes place from 2 to 5 p.m.  The St. Augustine Art Association Gallery, located at 22 Marine Street in St. Augustine is open 12 to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 2 to 5 p.m. on Sundays.  Admission is free. For more information, call 904.824.2310 or visit www.staaa.org.
 
 
St. Johns County residents with a valid ID are always admitted free of charge to Government House Museum, the Lightner Museum, the Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum, the Fountain of Youth, the Ximenez-Fatio House,   the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse, and the Spanish Military Hospital Museum and the Father Miguel O’Reilly Museum.  The daily tours and wine tastings at the San Sebastian Winery are free to everyone. Also, admission is free to everyone at the Authentic Old Drug Store, Fort Matanzas National Monument, St. Photios Chapel, the Peña-Peck House and the Father Miguel O’Reilly Museum. (donations are welcomed)…
 
For more information on events and activities in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches, go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau website at  
www.Getaway4Florida.com or call 1.800.653.2489.

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