St Augustine’s 450th Commemoration in September will brought many festivities and free events throughout the entire month starting Labor Day Weekend. Rumors have been flying for quite some time that our city would host the King and Queen of Spain, the Pope and many other dignitaries. Not so sure about the Pope himself, but it has officially been confirmed that we will host the King and Queen! In fact, they will be in St. Augustine tomorrow, Friday, September the 18th. A private luncheon will be held inside the Lightner Museum for the royal pair as well as special invitees from St. Augustine. Preceding the luncheon, there will be a private cannon firing held at the Castillo de San Marcos in their honor! Road closures will occur downtown due to security of these events.
Ambassador of Spain Ramon Gil-Casares and consulate general Maria Cristina Barrios-Almazor visited with St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver this past month to organize details of the royal visit.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain are scheduled to visit in Sept. 18, 19, and 20 which is when St. Augustine is hosting the annual U.S. – Spain Council. This will be the first ever visit for the royals to the United States as heads of state.
St. Augustine City Hall was decorated in Spanish colors, with a huge Spanish flag draped at the entrance.
The ambassador and the consulate general also met with the 450th commemoration staff. The ambassador said this celebration is extremely important to the king and queen.
Talks between St. Augustine and Spain have been going on for at least a year.
Last September the city manager along with the director of the 450th traveled to Spain where they met King Felipe and formally invited him to the 450th.
The king and queen of Spain are scheduled to meet with President Obama at the White House before heading to St. Augustine for the U.S. – Spain Council.
St. Augustine, Florida will be extremely busy during a usually quieter month for tourism. This year will be upbeat and more exciting than ever as we make our way to many scheduled free events for the public! Be sure to check our website for updates and details as they come in!
The King and Queen’s last visit to the nation’s oldest city was held back in 2001.