70 Years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. The United Church in St Augustine celebrated this event on Monday, Dec. 10 to a full house.

Crypto-Judaic Conference in St Augustine

The Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies (SCJS) and the St. Augustine Jewish Historical Society (SAJHS) had this unique conference that explored the lives and challenges faced by Jews and descendants of Jews who traveled to areas of America under the thumb of the Spanish Inquisition.
Focusing on those Jews who converted to Christianity or hid their religious heritage, the conference discussed the lives of these Crypto-Jews or Conversos who settled in America in the early years of the country, specifically in the Southeast.
Presentations by scholars and historians discussed the history of Spanish and Portuguese communities in the colonial period, operation of the Inquisition in the New World and research into crypto-Judaism especially as it pertains to what today is called the Southeastern United States.
Other discussions provided opportunity to engage the speakers and exchange stories of family histories and experiences in the Southeast, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Cities for Life 2018

Cities for Life is observed on November 30th each year.  It is a worldwide movement to abolish the death penalty.  It began in Italy with the Community of Sant’ Egidio.  The Community’s Cornerstones are the Gospel, Friendship & Service to the Poor and a Commitment to Justice.  The Community of Sant’ Egidio was successful in abolishing the death penalty in Italy and have since been involved in efforts to end the death penalty in other countries.  Each year on November 30th, about 2, 000 cities in more than 80 countries celebrate the International Day of Cities for Life.  Most churches that take part do so by turning on all their lights and ringing the church bells at 7:30 pm.  Some parishes will have a holy hour or prayer service to coincide with the lights and ringing the bells. Here in St Augustine it was held The Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios on 102 San Marco Ave at 6:30pm.

The aim is also to make use of symbolic monuments and squares to hold educational and artistic events aimed at raising public awareness. All cities taking part in the initiative make their major monuments available as “living logos”, which “speak” with the help of special illuminations, thus becoming symbols of a commitment to hold a dialogue with the population aimed at achieving a world without the death penalty.

St. Augustine’s 64th Annual Christmas Parade 2018

St. Augustine’s 64th Annual Christmas Parade ushers in the holiday season with floats, festive decorations and plenty of fun. Lots of local organizations participate in this event, making it one of the largest parades in Northeast Florida. Holiday season decorations adorn all the entries, from floats to marching bands to antique cars and horses and carriages. Even Santa joins in the spectacle, as visitors and locals alike come down to the historic district to watch the procession.

The parade began at the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission of Nombre de Dios at 27 Ocean Ave., proceeded south through downtown and then finished behind the Visitors Center at 10 West Castillo Drive. Spectators could view the parade from the historic streets of downtown St. Augustine. After the parade, everyone was welcome to stop by the Plaza de la Constitución to have pictures taken with Santa.

53rd Annual Art & Craft Festival 2018

The St. Augustine Art Association presented the 53rd Annual Art & Craft Festival at Francis Field on Saturday and Sunday, November 24 and 25, 2018, at Francis Field. This premier outdoor art fair attracted visitors and residents alike, ranging from knowledgeable art collectors to holiday shoppers looking for something unique. With over 100 artists displaying their work, it was easy to find the perfect gift.

The Art & Craft Festival featured painting, pottery, jewelry, glassware, sculptures, fiber art, photography, mixed media, fine hand-crafted creations, and more. All proceeds from the event were donated to the St. Augustine Art Association, founded in 1924 to support the local arts scene and enhance recognition of St. Augustine as a robust destination for anyone interested in the arts.

This year’s event included artists demonstrations (included in a schedule) and cultural displays, including crafts of a bygone era presented by the Textile Art Guild. At the Hyundai Kids Art Zone, kids could create their own art and enjoy a visit from Santa at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. A wide variety of international food, beer, and wine was available, as well as live music all day on the Gamble Rogers Folk Festival stage.

Nights of Pints 2018

 Nights of Pints     November 20 /2018 – January 31 /2019
Local St. Augustine breweries (The BOG, Dog Rose, Ancient City, Old Coast) are hosting Nights of Pints for craft beer lovers to enjoy a free, seasonally brewed pint at each St. Augustine brewery.

Nights of Lights 2018

The 25th Annual Nights of Lights dazzles the city as some three million lights adorn every corner of the historic district for two months.

This award-winning holiday lights display runs from November 17, 2018, to February 3, 2019, in historic St. Augustine. During the seasonal display, businesses downtown stay open later, letting you dine in view of the lights and browse the shops of the decorated buildings.

St Augustine’s Veterans Day 2018

The Military Officers Association of America – Ancient City Chapter and Veterans Council of St. Johns County hosted this event at Anastasia Baptist Church. There were atrium displays from 9:30-11 a.m., and the main event began at 11:11 a.m. The displays included the Traveling Vietnam Wall and Agent Orange Quilt of Tears. Admission was free.

Andrew Gillum in St Augustine, FL

On Sunday October 28th, Andrew Gillum, Mayor of Tallahassee, and candidate for Governor of Florida, stopped in St Augustine, FL on a tour of the state before the election in 9 days on November 6th. A huge crowd waited patiently on a beautiful day. When he got there the crowd went wild and his message was received with thunderous cheers and applause.

St Augustine Record Fair 2018

The Fall 2018 St. Augustine Record Fair, presented by local record store ToneVendor, returned to the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on Sunday, October 21, 2018.  On Sunday, October 21, music lovers and collectors were invited to the St. Augustine Amphitheatre to shop thousands of music-related items including new and used vinyl records, CDs, cassettes, posters, turntable equipment and supplies, memorabilia, collectibles and more. This year, over 25 music vendors from across the Southeast United States were on site, offering shoppers the chance to choose from nearly every type of musical genre to grow their collection. DJ sets by DJ Dorian Lopez took place throughout the day. Food and beverages were available for purchase from several on-site food trucks as well as the Amphitheatre Concessions. Fun activities for the entire family included the new Vinyl Care Clinic and the return of the popular “DJ 101 Session for Kids.” Hosted by DJ Dorian Lopez, the “DJ 101 Session” is a 30-minute tutorial on how to DJ. After the tutorial, this hands-on event provided the opportunity for kids of all ages to test their newfound DJ skills on a real DJ setup! This event was FREE and opened to the public with free onsite parking. And Intuition Ale Works pints were just $2!