St. Augustine’s 444th Birthday Celebration

The City of St. Augustine’s Birthday is one of the most exciting times of the year. The celebration grows each year and this year includes three full days of special events.

This year, the celebration will focus attention on the Native Americans that lived here before, during and after the arrival of the Spanish settlers; the reenactment of Pedro Menendez’s landing in 1565 followed by a celebration of Mass and demonstrations of culture and lifestyles of natives when Menendez landed.

Starting on Thursday, September 3 and continuing through Saturday, September 5, the events commemorate St. Augustine’s standing as the longest continually inhabited city founded by Europeans in what is now the United States – making it the Nation’s Oldest City.

St. Augustine has set a remarkable record for endurance that is unmatched in American history. Despite hurricanes, wars, plagues and countless pirate raids, the city has survived and flourished continuously since September 8, 1565 when its birth was proclaimed by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles.

All activities surrounding the St. Augustine 444rd Birthday Celebration are free and within convenient walking distance from the Visitor Information Center and adjacent parking facility.

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St. Augustine’s 444th Birthday Celebration
(click on each link for a map)

Celebrating Those Who Were Already Here
Thursday, September 3 and Friday, September 4

9:00am – 5:00pm

Map to Fountain of Youth Archeological Park

The Spaniards were not the first to think of the St. Augustine area as “home.” Native Americans known as the Timucua had been living there for at least 500 years when the Europeans first arrived. In fact, from the first moments of their arrival, the Spaniards encountered the residents of Seloy, a large Timucuan village located at the present site of the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park. Seminoles and other U.S. Indian tribes that have been part of Florida’s history will also be represented. Admission is free.

Thursday, September 3

6:00pm – 9:00pm

A Pow Wow

There will be an Indian Pow Wow which will honor the native American traditions that are part of the City’s history at the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park. Admission is free.

Landing Reenactment & Celebration of Mass
Saturday, September 5


Map to Mission Nombre de Dios

The Landing

A full day of activities begins at 9:30 a.m. as authentically clad soldiers prepare for the reenactment of the landing by the city’s founder, Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, at the Mission of Nombre de Dios, the exact landing point of the Spanish colonists in 1565. The site of the landing is marked today with a 208 foot stainless steel cross erected in 1965 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the city’s founding. Each year, a leading citizen is invited to portray Menendez by the organizers of the Founder’s Day Reenactment.

Following the landing, Mayor Joe Boles will read a proclamation from the City of St. Augustine and there will be a presentation by Dr. Susan Parker, Executive Director, St. Augustine Historical Society.

The Celebration of Mass

The landing reenactment will be followed, as it was 444 years ago, with a celebration of Mass at an outdoor wooden altar by the water’s edge at the Mission Nombre de Dios, located at 27 Ocean Ave. off of San Marco Ave. Father Thomas Walsh, Pastor of San Sebastian Catholic Church, will celebrate Mass which is expected to begin at approximately 11:00am.

16th Century Cooking Contest

Saturday, September 5

6:00pm to 9:00pm

Map to Fountain of Youth Archeological Park

A Feast

Decades before the Pilgrims sat down for a harvest feast the good people of St. Augustine had already established the tradition with their neighbors the Timucuan. There will be a cooking contest featuring foods dating from the 16th century. The prepared food will be judged and there will be plenty of sampling of the Spanish flavors and demonstrations that will teach about the flavors that have influenced the culinary culture of St. Augustine. Authentic 16th Century dinners will be available for purchase and period music and dancing will be performed throughout the evening.

The contest will take place at a historical encampment and those entering a dish are requested to deliver their prepared food at 5:00pm to the Park. For more information on entering the contest, call 904.669.1485.

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For More Information

The place where every visit to St. Augustine should begin is at the St. Augustine & St. Johns County Visitor Information Center. There are helpful guides, a gift shop, connections to various tours, and clean restrooms.

Adjacent to the Visitor Information Center is the Historic Downtown Parking Facility. With its nearly 1,200 parking spaces, the facility has become the preferred parking location in the city.

For directions and more information on the Visitor Information Center call 904.825.1000 or visit

To better plan your visit to St. Augustine and St. Johns County, call 800.653.2489 of go to

Experience st augustine fl the way that vistors did 100 years ago and stay at the Agustin Inn, a St Augustine Fl Bed and Breakfast and historic inn, St augustine Fl.