St Augustine was one of the many cemeteries in the U.S. that participated in the Wreaths Across America on December 15th 2018. Wreaths Across America is dedicated to ensuring that headstones in all America’s National Cemeteries are adorned with a live holiday wreath at Christmas. A 12 year old paper boy for the Bangor Daily News named Morrill Worcester, now owner of Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, won a trip to Washington D.C. Arlington National Cemetery made an especially indelible impression on him. Later in life, this experience reminded him that his good fortune was due to veterans, especially by those who made the ultimate sacrifice. In 1992, the Worcester Wreath Company found themselves with a surplus of 5,000 wreaths nearing the end of the holiday season. Seeing an opportunity to honor our country’s veterans arrangements were made for the surplus wreaths to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery, which included a special ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This year there will be placed over 1.8 million wreaths at 1,640 National Cemeteries.
Category: Events & Festivals
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.