Celebrate Heritage Events this Fall on Florida’s Historic Coast

Published on : Thursday, August 14, 2014

Florida’s-Historic-CoastThroughout the year, exciting events, festivals and celebrations take place in St. Augustine, the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in North America.  This Fall traditional festivities and annual celebrations are set to take place, providing visitors the chance to see, hear and feel the magic of this charming ambiance that draw millions of visitors each year.


Here are highlights of some the exciting Fall events scheduled this year:

September 6, 2014: Celebration of the  Founding of St. Augustine – 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 and founding of the city of St. Augustine in the year 1565.  The event is from 10 a.m. to noon.  Admission is free.


September 6 & 7, 2014: Sea Your History Weekend – Get a taste of Native American history in Florida with a special presentation from chef Richard Hetzler of the Mitsitam Cafe at the Smithsonian Museum.  Sample traditional Native American foods during a live food demonstration at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum.  Additional presentations on archaeology and wooden boatbuilding will take place throughout the weekend. Climb the tower, explore the keepers’ house, walk on the nature trails and experience history.
September 9 – 13, 2014: St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival – Celebrate the oldest city’s outstanding Spanish culinary heritage at this City of St. Augustine 450th Commemoration Event. The festival features the very best in Spanish foods and wines presented at a variety of special events and restaurants.  The Festival includes a Tuesday kick-off luncheon at the First Coast Technical College, 2980 Collins Ave., St. Augustine.  Thursday, is the Grand Tasting and Friday is the Cava Reception and Dinner at The Treasury on the Plaza, 24 Cathedral Pl., St. Augustine.
October 1 – 31 Flavors of Florida’s Historic Coast – Chefs in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & the Beaches will add a lot of zest to dining in Northeast Florida during the 5th Annual Flavors of Florida’s Historic Coast month long dining event. Flavors showcases the signature and heritage-inspired dishes that are the hallmark of the area’s culinary offerings with prix fix dining options.   Special Minorcan, Spanish, Greek, and southern  inspired delicacies are featured on special prix- fixe menus at more than30 participating restaurants in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches.
October 4, 2014: 5th Annual Fiesta de Aviles – A celebration of St. Augustine’s Old Town heritage with live music, costumes, art exhibits and a special running of the “bulls” along Aviles Street. Activities are from 4 – 10 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, contact Aviles Street Merchants Association.
October 4 & 5: Datil Pepper Festival and Cook Off with Home and Garden Show – The annual Datil Pepper Festival includes a variety of events and delicious datil pepper tastings. This annual celebration serves to recognize the importance of the pepper in its relation to St. Augustine’s history.



From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., local restaurant chefs will compete in the annual  Datil Pepper Cook-Off! Creating new dishes for patrons of the event to taste, the competitors must use the Datil Pepper as one of the main ingredients of their dish. Guests of the festival may purchase tasting coupons, allowing them to sample and vote on a People’s Choice Award to help decide the winner for each of the many categories.  In addition to the cook-off, there will be a wide selection of Datil pepper products, plants, and decor available for sale at the Home and Garden Show open till 4 p.m.  t all takes place at the St. Augustine Agricultural Center, 3125 Agricultural Center Drive, St. Augustine.
October 10 – 12 – 16th Annual St. Augustine Greek Festival – Opa! Greek food and pastries await visitors at the 17th Annual St. Augustine Greek Festival. This annual festival celebrates the Greek Heritage that has been part of our community since the first Greek Settlers arrived in Florida in 1768. Enjoy Greek food, live Greek music, traditionally-costumed Greek folk dancers, arts & crafts vendors, a kid’s center with games, rides, & more!  The festival is open Friday 4-9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and free for those 12 and under. Free admission for active military and their immediate family with ID.


October 18 – 19: 2nd Annual St. Augustine Maritime Heritage Festival – Celebrate maritime history and a love of the sea at this two-day festival at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.  Events include the Quick and Dirty Boat Building Competition and Race, the Old City Bartending Challenge, educational exhibits, craft vendors, book signings, lecturers, a beer and wine tent, the Astillero de Perro Dog Agility Contest,   Ponce de Leon Paddle Battle SUP Race, kids’ activities, live music and the popular Saturday Night Minorcan Chowder and Pilau Party.



The festival is 9 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets (includes admission to the Fountain of Youth) are adults $12, seniors $11, children 6-12, $8 and free for those 6 and under.  Tickets for St. Johns County residents and military families with I.D. are adults $5, seniors $4, children 6-12 $3. Under 6 are free.


October 25, 2014: Protecting La Florida – Building the Black Militia -  From 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Fort Mose State Park pays tribute to “the men of color” who have defended Florida from the time of St. Augustine’s founding in 1565 to the present day conflict in Afghanistan. At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Dr. Sherry Johnson, history professor at Florida International University, will present a discussion of the history of Black militia in the defense of Florida during the Spanish Colonial Period. The event is free. 15 Fort Mose Trail St. Augustine.
November 22 –  Colonial Autumn in Spanish Florida – From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors to St. Augustine’s Fort Mose State Park will learn about and sample the fruits and vegetables grown by Spanish residents during the 1700s.  Local Farm Fare will present a farmer’s market featuring vegetables. fruits and herbs from Spanish colonial times that are still grown today.  Florida Living History’s Los Companeros de la Cocina will present cooking demonstrations.  At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., independent scholar Annie Francis will present her research findings from the Spanish Archives of the Indies about foods commonly consumed in Spanish Florida and recipes for their preparation.  She will also take visitors on a walking tour to observe the preparation and cooking of these foods.  Samples will be available.  The event is free.


November 22, 2014 : Nights of Lights Light up Night – Nearly three million tiny white lights will glow along the ancient streets and historic buildings of the Nation’s oldest city when the 21st Annual Nights of Lights celebration sparkles to life at 6:30 p.m. in St. Augustine’s Plaza de la Constitucion.  Holiday music, the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree and an exciting countdown add to the splendor of the lighting of one of the world’s greatest holiday light displays.  Nights of Lights continues through January 31, 2015. 10 Cathedral Place, St. Augustine.


Located midway between Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, Florida’s Historic Coast includes historic St. Augustine, the outstanding golf and seaside elegance of Ponte Vedra and 42 miles of pristine, Atlantic beaches.




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