Festivals, parades, seasonal celebrations – Florida’s Historic Coast has an annual calendar chock full of events that appeal to a wide variety of interests. The following are just a sampling of some of the most popular events in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and The Beaches.
First Friday Art Walk
From 5 – 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month, new exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments are featured at over 20 galleries in St. Augustine. A complimentary shuttle service to most galleries is provided by St. Augustine Sightseeing Trains and Old Town Trolleys from the San Sebastian Winery.
Uptown Saturday Night
From 5 – 9 p.m. on the last Saturday of each month, experience live music, refreshments, shopping and much more on St. Augustine’s San Marco Ave., between Ripley’s Museum and the Mission Nombre de Dios.
Matanzas 5000 5K & Fun Run
One of Florida’s fastest 5K races on a scenic USATF-certified course.www.matanzas5k.com
St. Augustine Film Festival
Presented by Flagler College, the St. Augustine Film Festival presents more than 20 outstanding films with filmmakers’ panel discussions. www.fliff.com/st._augustine
Arts and Crafts Festival at St. Augustine Beach Pier
A festive atmosphere features fine art & crafts and live music at the St. Augustine Beach Pier Park. Admission is free. www.tnteventsinc.com
Searle’s Sack of St. Augustine
This authentic re-enactment portrays Captain Robert Searle’s 1668 attack on St. Augustine to loot the silver ingots held in the royal coffers. The re-enactment includes a Raider’s encampment at the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park and an evening attack at the city’s Plaza de La Constitucion. www.Searlesbucs.com
Celtic Music and Heritage Festival
A St. Patrick’s Day Parade, traditional Irish music, Scottish pipes and drums, and contemporary Celtic Rock in celebration of St. Augustine’s Celtic history dating back to 1565! Located at Francis Field. www.celticstaugustine.com
Rhythm & Ribs Festival
Non-stop music featuring popular performers and award-winning barbecue all weekend long at St. Augustine’s Francis Field. www.rhythmandribs.net
Blessing of the Fleet
This annual event has watercraft from trawlers, yachts, sailboats and motor craft all decorated to receive a blessing from the Bi
shop of the Diocese of St. Augustine at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina. www.sayc2000.com.
St. Augustine’s Easter Parade
Features marching bands, floats, drill teams, the Easter Bunny, and the St. Augustine Royal Family with the city’s carriage horses wearing special hand-made bonnets. The parade winds through downtown St. Augustine.
A Taste of St. Augustine
This signature food festival at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre serves up “tastes” from over 20 local restaurants competing for the prestigious TOStA (Taste of St. Augustine) awards, as well as the “People’s Choice”. www.epicbh.org/tasteofstaugustine.html
Florida’s Birding & Photo Fest
Experience northeast Florida’s abundant bird and wild life while enhancing your photography skills at more than 110 photography workshops, classroom sessions and special events. www.FloridasHistoricCoast.com/bird_festival
THE PLAYERS Championship
Come see your favorite golf pros compete at the world-famous PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach. Recognized by PGA TOUR members as “their” championship tournament, THE PLAYERS features one of the most coveted titles in professional golf, the strongest field of competitors and the richest purse. www.pgatour.com
MID-MAY THROUGH SEPTEMBER
Music by The Sea Concert Series
Every Wednesday evening through September, a free live concert takes place from 7-9 p.m. at the St. Augustine Beach Pier Pavilion, 350 A1A Beach Blvd. www.thecivicassociation.org
MEMORIAL DAY THROUGH LABOR DAY
Concerts in the Plaza
Throughout the summer months, every Thursday evening a free live concert takes place from 7-9 p.m. in St. Augustine’s historic Plaza de la Constitucion. www.plazaconcerts.com
The English corsair Sir Francis Drake and his raiders return to St. Augustine in an authentic recreation of the 1586 sack of the city. www.DrakesRaid.com
Battle of Bloody Mose
This annual re-enactment of the June 26, 1740, Battle of Bloody Mose, a pivotal battle between the British and the Spanish militia composed of former British slaves granted freedom by the Spanish. www.floridastateparks.org/fortmose
July 3 – World Golf Village Fireworks
World Golf Village celebrates Independence Day with its annual Community Fireworks—one of the largest displays in Northeast Florida. World Golf Village is located off I-95 Exit 323, St. Augustine. www.WorldGolfHallofFame.org
July 4 – St. Augustine Fireworks and Concert
The All Star Orchestra performs in the Plaza de la Constitucion then one of the largest fireworks displays on the East Coast bursts above the ancient Castillo de San Marcos and reflects in the waters of Matanzas Bay.
Ancient City Kingfish Challenge
This exciting competition offers cash and prizes for the biggest catch. This annual tournament takes place from the St. Augustine City Marina on the Bayfront. www.acgfa.com
St. Augustine Founder’s Day Celebration
Dozens of authentic re-enactors portray the 1565 founding of St. Augustine by Pedro Menendez de Aviles and his Spanish colonists. Colorful ceremonies and presentations, including the landing of Menendez, are followed by a special mass at St. Augustine’s Mission Nombre De Dios’ outdoor altar. www.floridalivinghistory.org
Florida Heritage Book Festival
Florida’s rich and colorful literary heritage is celebrated at a series of workshops, presentations and readings. Meet award-winning authors, fellow book lovers and publishing professionals. www.fhbookfest.com
St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival
The oldest city’s Spanish culinary heritage is celebrated with this festival that features the very best in Spanish foods and wines. The Festival offers a variety of special events at various venues and restaurants as well as a Grand Wine Tasting and the Vino Battalla. www.SpanishWineFestival.com
Greek music, dance and food set in a virtual Greek village at St. Augustine’s Francis Field. Greek dancers and performers are featured along with an authentic Agora market, Cafenio, Taverna, Kids Center and much more. www.stauggreekfest.com
St. Augustine Independent Restaurant Association (SAiRA) Food & Wine Fest
A popular food and wine sampling from 17 area restaurants at The River House from noon to 4 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club. www.StAugustineRestaurants.com
A Taste of the Beach
Annual ‘taste-fest’ with the crowd and judges selecting the “Best of the Beach” restaurant. Admission is free and taste tickets sell for $1 each. Noon – 5 p.m. at St. Augustine Beach Pier Pavilion. http://www.thecivicassociation.org
Great St. Augustine Chowder Debate
More than 30 area restaurants compete for top honors in this tasty fundraiser for Shriners Children’s Hospitals. Tastes are $1 each and winners will be selected in New England, Minorcan, conch and/or seafood categories. www.conch-house.com
Three days of pirate fun and history in the nation’s oldest city! Enjoy historic exhibits, living history demonstrations, a privateer parade and pirate battles. www.pirategathering.com
St. Augustine Half Marathon
Put on your running shoes for a foot-race that suits your running level. 10K Run, Family 5K Run and the St Augustine’s Kids Race and a Half Marathon. Each race starts and ends at Francis Field.
Fall Arts and Crafts Festival
More than 150 artists from around the USA are juried into this Thanksgiving weekend art festival at Francis Field. www.staugustineartfestival.com
MID-NOVEMBER THROUGH JANUARY 31
Nights of Lights
Selected by National Geographic Traveler as one of the ten best holiday lighting displays in the world, St. Augustine glows with more than 3 million white lights. The Nights of Lights spectacular lighting display reflects the city’s 450-year history. www.NightsofLights.com
St. Augustine Christmas Parade
St. Augustine’s Annual Christmas Parade, the largest in North Florida, includes floats, marching bands, horses and the arrival of Santa. The parade marches through historic downtown St. Augustine.
Garden Club Christmas Tour of Homes
This annual tour showcases holiday decorations at a selection of St. Augustine’s most outstanding private homes. Enjoy a taste of nostalgia in the colorful decorations hand crafted by members of The Garden Club of St. Augustine.
Regatta of Lights
Brilliantly lighted boats glide through St. Augustine’s Matanzas Bay between the Bridge of Lions and Castillo de San Marcos during this annual holiday parade of sailboats, trawlers, shrimp boats and other vessels. Hosted by the St. Augustine Yacht Club. www.staugustineyachtclub.com
Bed and Breakfast Holiday Tour “Christmas Around the World”
This annual Christmas tour features 24 inns throughout historic St. Augustine. Each inn is paired with a distinguished St. Augustine restaurant offering savory nibbles, sweet treats and other refreshments. www.staugustinebandbtour.com
Kick off the New Year in seaside style at this St. Augustine Beach event! Enjoy fireworks and food at the Fire and Ice Chili Cook-off. www.sabevents.com