The Minorcan Heritage Celebration 2018 marks the 250th Anniversary of the arrival of the Minorcan colonists in St. Augustine. This heritage event took place on Saturday, March 3, 2018, from 10am to 3pm, at The Llambias House located at 31 St. Francis Street. The event featured engaging activities, traditional foods, music, dancing and more. Admission was free.
This celebration includes descendants from the original Minorcans in St. Augustine, all sharing traditional dances, songs, stories, family photos, Minorcan family crests, and traditional crafts, as well as demonstrations of mullet net making by Mike Usina. There were also programs in the downstairs room of the Llambias House featuring speakers. Food at this event included delicious variations of pilau, Minorcan chowder, fromajadas and different baked goods were also available.
The term “Minorcan” describes the group of Mediterranean people (about 1400 in all) who came to British East Florida in the late 18th century to work as indentured servants on a plantation settlement in New Smyrna. Many of these were actually from the island of Minorca, but they were joined by many others who were from other Mediterranean towns and regions, including Greeks, Italians, Corsicans, French and Spanish. Their first several years in Florida were harsh and their numbers decreased, but in 1777 they were granted a space to settle in the northwest section of the fledgling port town of St. Augustine. They have been an integral part of the community of the nation’s oldest city ever since.