Next Week’s Commemorative Events: 500 years!

Next Week’s Commemorative Events       

Next week marks the 500th anniversary of Ponce de Leon’s landing on Florida’s shore. Florida’s Historic Coast has a full schedule of events, all of which are FREE and open to the public:  
 
April 2: Dedication of GTM NERR Ponce de Leon 30°8´ Historical Site
This permanent addition to our visitor experience recognizes the only surviving navigational reading of Ponce de Leon’s “Journey of Discovery,” taken the day prior to his landing on April 3, 1513, when he claimed La Florida for Spain. The site, at a position of 30 degrees 8 minutes north latitude, is between St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach, and the event from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. will include dedication of an official historical marker, interpretive signage and a 15′ statue of Ponce de Leon peering over the dunes. Location: GTM NERR North Beach Access Parking Lot, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 
April 3: Commemorative Reenactment of the Landing of Juan Ponce de Leon
Along St. Augustine’s historic downtown bay front, a colorful ceremony of Ponce de Leon’s landing in Florida on April 3, 1513, will be presented by authentically-clad historic reenactors. Additional activities will take place throughout the day.  Schedule (subject to change) 9 a.m Ponce comes ashore at north base of Bridge of Lions, plants a flag for Spain. Procession to the Ponce de Leon statue in the roundabout east of the Plaza de la Constitucion. 10 a.m. Wreath laying ceremony at statue with local, state and international dignitaries.

April 3: Juan Ponce de Leon Commemorative Mass
Ponce de Leon’s historic landing will be celebrated with a special mass conducted at St. Augustine’s Cathedral Basilica. An exact replica of the baptismal font in which Ponce was baptized will be installed in the Cathedral Basilica, to serve as a functional baptismal font for the church. 11 a.m. 38 Cathedral Place, St. Augustine, Fl 32084

April 3: Unveiling of the 2013 La Florida Postage Stamp
The United State Postal Service will be unveiling the 2013 La Florida postage stamp at 12:30 p.m. at the Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College. Dignitaries, historians and USPS service will present an exciting program and unveil the latest postage stamp that will honor and celebrate the 500th Anniversary of Ponce de Leon’s discovery of La Florida.  

April 6 & 7: Ponce de Leon Celebration: La Fiesta de la Florida
Weekend-long revival of St. Augustine’s Ponce de Leon celebration that began in 1883. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. on April 6 with a re-enactment on the bayfront of Ponce de Leon’s 1513 discovery and naming of La Florida. A ceremony will follow at the Ponce de Leon statue at the east end of the Plaza de la Constitucion. Re-enactors representing 500 years of Florida history will appear during festivities continuing until 10 p.m. The celebrations on both days will take place at the Ribera House, 22 St. George Street and Arrivas House, 46 St. George Street. Latin food, historic military demonstrations by the Historic Florida Militia, folkloric dancers from Hispanic countries and other live entertainment will be featured. On April 7, the festivities begin on St. George Street at 11 a.m. with a performance of “Dancing With the Sun” by the pre-Columbian dancers Xochitalpan.   The day’s entertainment includes Lucero Bernal with traditional Mariachi-style music; Latin American folkloric groups Raices de Colombia, Fuego Flamenco; Raices de mi Tierra Puerto Rico; San Patricio Mexican Dancers and Belly Flamenco Dancers; “Taste of the Fuego Flamenco”; Blue Lotus belly dancing; guitar performances and special appearances by Don Juan Ponce de Leon (portrayed by Fr. Gilbert Medina) and Miss Ponce de Leon (portrayed by Raisa La Rosa, the reigning Miss Mundo Latina). Free admission to all events.  Info 904-460-2741