St Augustine, Florida Celebrates Birthday This Weekend

The nation's oldest city will celebrate a birthday this weekend and we are excited to update our guests on the festivities! 

On Saturday, September 6, 2014, Florida Living History, Inc., Mission Nombre de Dios and the Diocese of St. Augustine present the annual, historical re-enactment of the Admiral Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles' landing for the 449th anniversary of founding of the city of St. Augustine in the year 1565.

The event is from 10 a.m. to noon and includes Honor Guards from both the U.S. Coast Guard and the Knights of Columbus; a colorful re-enactment provided by Florida Living History;  a proclamation by a city official; secular and liturgical period music; a delegation from Aviles, Spain (birthplace of Menendez and sister city to St. Augustine); a Mass of Thanksgiving, celebrated by Bishop of St. Augustine Felipe Estevez; dedication of a plaque honoring Father Father Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales, chaplain of Menendez's fleet, first parish priest of St. Augustine, the first established parish in the United States; a Grand Procession following the Mass of Thanksgiving; and a special performance of a scene from the 415 -year old play El Nuevo Mudo descubierto por Cristobal Colon (The New World Discovered by Christopher Columbus).  

Admission and parking are free at the Mission Nombre de Dios, 27 Ocean Ave., St. Augustine.

At noon, the re-enactors will process from the Mission up Magnolia Street to the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, the original location of Menendez' first settlement of St. Augustine.

Once there, a blessing and reenactment of the first Thanksgiving will occur as Timucuans, nobles, priests, Captains, and commoners celebrate the successful founding of the settlement four and a half centuries ago. There will be a demonstration kitchen set up using foods and techniques from the 1500s as the first documented Thanksgiving in the Continental US is re-enacted. In addition, local restaurants will offer heritage inspired foods for sale in the Fountain's 3,000 square foot Events Pavilion.

Standard park admission rates of $12 for adults, $11 for seniors and $8 for children ages 6-12 apply for entry to the Fountain of Youth.

For further information about the event, please visit