Historic St. Augustine is gearing up for a grand celebration, Sept. 4-8, commemorating the city’s 450th anniversary.
The five-day celebration features city-organized events such as live performances, historic reenactments, a street festival, free concerts and plenty of history.
Here’s a look at ways to join the celebration and soak up some history too –
The Return of El Galeón
On the waterfront, don’t miss El Galeón – a replica of the vessels that traveled the coasts of Florida between the 16th and 18th centuries, transporting men, goods, culture and ideas, creating ties between America and Europe. Take a tour of the ship and walk the decks for a look into the city’s maritime history. The replica ship is docked at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina in the city’s historic district through September 23, 2016.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for youth age 5 to 12, and free for youth under age 5. Veterans and St. Johns County residents receive a $2 discount per ticket. Family discounts are available with $2 off per ticket of groups of five people or more.
With five stages spread throughout the city for the weekend of celebrations, there are some pretty big names on the lineup.
Aaron Neville, Mavis Staples, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, JJ Grey with Mofro and plenty of local bands and entertainment throughout the weekend.
And best of all – these concerts are all free to the public. Check out the full entertainment lineup on the Celebrate 450 site.
Fort Mose’s ‘A Flight to Freedom’ Presentation
Fort Mose Historical State Park is the site of the first legally sanctioned free African settlement in the United States. From living history exhibits, storytelling and historical experts – the park provides educational and fun ways for families to learn together.
On Friday, Sept. 4 at 3:40 p.m. at the Gazebo Stage, take part in ‘A Flight to Freedom’ presentation to learn about this historic property and retelling of stories from the Fort Mose Historical Society.
St. Augustine’s Birthday Party
Don’t miss the reading of the Official 450th Birthday Proclamation and the cutting of the 450th birthday cake will be cut by members of the Royal Family in the Gazebo in the Plaza de laConstitución on Monday, Sept. 7 at 2 p.m.
There will also be live, local music from Driftwoods and Mid-Life Crisis. And you can enjoy free birthday cake too. (Yes, free!)
Historic Reenactments in St. Augustine
On September 5, take part in the Menendez Landing Day Celebration at St. Augustine’s Fountain of Youth. Reenactors will landing at the Fountain of Youth in the Chalupa San Agustin, march once around the park and then settle in for a Thanksgiving meal.
The Thanksgiving meal is in the tradition of the first documented Thanksgiving Feast in the United States, held inside the park 450 years ago. The first 300 guests will also receive a free Thanksgiving feast meal prepared by Smokin D’s. The fun begins at 10 a.m and continues throughout the day with live music.
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