St Augustine’s Nights Of Lights 2017

St. Augustine lit up and became a festival of twinkling lights as it hosts its annual Nights of Lights. Visitors and residents are treated to a wonderland of lights adorning the ancient city, beginning at the Plaza de la Constitución, and stretching out to all of St. Augustine’s historic district. From roof shingle to doorway entrance, the downtown buildings take on a glow with millions of twinkling lights covering historic sites, bed and breakfasts, museums, restaurants and shops of the nation’s oldest city. St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights festival traces its origin to the Spanish tradition of displaying a white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays. In 2017 the tradition continues, with some three million lights twinkling on old buildings and landmarks along the bay front and throughout the city’s brick-lined streets. The lights will be up from November 18, 2017, to January 31, 2018. Nights of Lights has become famous around the world as one of the finest places to see holiday lights.

Veterans Day Parade 2017

Veteran’s Day Grand Parade 2017 in downtown St. Augustine.  The parade began when the church bells rang and a cannon salute from the fort to honor the military history of St. Augustine and all those who serve and continue to serve our country.  It was about an hour and included historic military vehicles, military units, military marching bands, local high school bands, vintage and military aircraft flyovers, military aircraft on display beside the fort.

The Parade began on  Orange Street at 11:00am, the parade continued east on Orange Street, south on S. Castillo Dr./Avenida Menendez, west on Cathedral Pl., north on Cordova Street, returning to Orange Street near Francis Field.  The parade was presented by the Veterans Council of St. Johns County and the Ancient City Chapter of the Military Officers Association in America.  Our Veterans Day Parade this year was focused on our local heroes who have served our nation.

SOTA Awards 2017

The St Johns Cultural Council (SJCC) provides mini grants of up to $500 for arts and cultural activities within St. Johns County, FL. Funding is made possible through revenue from the sale of State of the Arts (SOTA) license plates in St. Johns County.  Priority will be given to proposals for activities that reach underserved audiences, arts education, and art in public places.

Organizations, artists and schools may apply for new or expanded programs in the following disciplines: arts in education, music, dance, folk arts, humanities, literature, film/video/media, theatre and musical theatre, visual arts, or the collection or exhibition of cultural or artistic works. Proposals are evaluated on uniqueness, quality and impact.

“Opera’s Most Haunting Melodies” Performs in St Augustine

First Coast Opera performed a show on the week of Halloween titled “Opera’s Most Haunting Melodies”. Performed in front of a packed house at the Mark Lance Armory on San Marco Ave, St Augustine, FL.
The show was opera at its best with a sprinkle of of spooky Halloween and comedy.

Get Ready for St Augustine’s Veterans Day Parade

The annual parade in St. Augustine honoring our nation’s veterans will begin 11:00am Saturday, November 11th to the peel of church bells, roar of cannon, and drone of military planes flying over head. The famous St. Augustine marching “V,” depicting the city’s veterans from all our nation’s wars, will lead a grand procession of active duty, ROTC and Jr. ROTC marching units, color guards, multiple bands, and historic military vehicles — all escorting our honored local veterans of today. The parade will form on Orange Street, turn right onto San Marco Avenue, pass down along the bay front on Avenida Mendez to the town square, then up Cathedral Place to Cordova Street and return to Orange Street. Vintage military vehicles, including helicopters, will be on display in front of the Castillo de San Marcos, where the Castillo administration has organized an encampment of re-enactors from every war. Admission to the fort itself will be free for the day. This event is organized and sponsored by the Veterans Council of St. Johns County in collaboration with the Ancient City Chapter of the Military Officers of American Association as a tribute to all those throughout the centuries who have donned our nation’s uniform to protect their city, state and nation. This year it is especially dedicated those living among us who have served and are living testimony to that duty. Get your place on the sidewalk early, take a red-white-blue flag from a Scout, watch a grand parade, and join us in honoring these fine patriots.

Dia de los Difuntos / The Day of The Deceased

All Souls’ Day is an annual celebration honoring deceased loved ones and is held on November 2. It is the final day and culmination of the three days of Allhallowtide, which include All Saints’ Day (November 1) and its vigil, All Hallows Eve (or “Halloween” – October 31). It is an ancient custom, officially dating to the end of the first millennium and almost certainly associated with much older traditions, such as the Roman Lemuralia. Over the centuries, many secular customs and traditions have become associated with this religious observance.
I. 11AM – 3PM – The first part of this new, day-long heritage Event will take place at the Tolomato Cemetery (14 Cordova St.). From 11AM to 3PM, docents from the Tolomato Cemetery Preservation Association will discuss the history of the cemetery, one of the oldest in the continental United States (founded c. 1737), as well as the traditions associated with this holiday. Florida Living History, Inc.’s, volunteer reenactors will be on hand to portray some of the famous Floridians who are buried at Tolomato, such as General Biassou (died 1801), Elizabeth Forrester (died 1798), Don Juan McQueen (died 1807), and Father Varela (died 1853).
II. 7PM – The second part of FLH’s Dia de los Difuntos Event begins at 7PM. La Marcha de la Santa Compaña (“The March of the Holy Company”) will begin at the south end of St. George Street, by the Plaza de la Constitucion and the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Augustine. Proceeding north up St. George Street towards the City Gates, this torch-lit procession will include historical reenactors representing the souls of “The Noble and Loyal City’s” citizens over the past 450+ years. The public is encouraged to join in the procession and march behind the Faithful Dead as they parade through St. Augustine’s historic district before returning to the Tolomato Cemetery.
III. 7:45PM – Returning to the Tolomato Cemetery, FLH’s Dia de los Difuntos Event will conclude with its third part, an abbreviated, candle-lit production (in English) of Bernardo de Quirós’ classical Spanish play, El Muerto (“The Dead”), published in 1658 and now presented by FLH’s Theater with a Mission group from Tallahassee, illustrating the triumph of love over death.

St Augustine Tonight at St Augustine Distillery

St Augustine Tonight Show with your host Jorge Rivera will be taped this coming Wednesday, 6:30pm, November 1st, at the St Augustine Distillery. Do not miss it, and be part of the live audience. Our guests are Scott C. Gregg, Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Saint Augustine Orchestra, Neil Armingeon with the Matanzas Riverkeeper, and musical guest Chillula. Check out previous shows of season one and two on our Youtube channel : www.youtube.com/channel/UCvHUKfugD44TlXsywtkIP5g and subscribe.

Blues Fest Fills Lincolnville with Music and Fans

St. Benedict the Moor Church in St. Augustine hosted its annual Blues Fest on Friday and Saturday, October 20 and 21, 2017. Blessed with good music, good BBQ and good weather, the festival featured some of the best blues performances and best BBQ food in St. Augustine. The musical line-up included, Amy Hendrickson, Gene Johnson Road Blues, and the Duffy Bishop Band, just to name a few. Great food was served each day — beef brisket burgers, gumbo, pulled pork, BBQ ribs, and lots of side dishes. There was plenty of beer and other beverages. Guests brought their own lawn chairs. All proceeds from the Blues Fest benefit the renovation of the St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church.

Fourth Annual Haunted Masquerade Art Show 2017

Fourth Annual Haunted Masquerade Art Show was celebrated at the DoubleTree by Hilton in the St. Augustine Historic District in their Anastasia Ball Room. There was a beer and wine cash bar as well! With artists of all mediums from all over Florida.

Blue Lotus World Dance Company LLC returned for another year of beautiful exotic dance!

9th Annual Bratini 2017 is Again A Fun Way to Give

The StAR Council showcased its 9th Annual BRATINI on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at Serenata Beach Club, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The annual fundraiser brings awareness to needs of St. Johns County cancer patients and raises funds for services directly given to supporting organizations including ARTBREAKERS and PINK HEALS who serve local residents.

This year StAR Council is expanding its giving to other nonprofit organizations who have supported and partnered with the group in various projects. The ARC of the St. Johns, which is contributing two decorated bras, will also benefit from the event. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and this event heightens awareness for all forms of cancer. Adult male models dance to popular themed songs while modeling the bras as an auctioneer solicits bids for charity. Other activities include a silent auction and grand door prize drawing valued at $1000.