The British are coming! The British are coming!

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3

BRITISH NIGHT WATCH OPENING EVENTS

Get immersed in St. Augustine’s British history when at 4 p.m. three captured signers of the Declaration of Independence arrive to be imprisoned. It’s a raucous occasion until order is restored at the City Gate, Plaza de la Constitucion and Government House. For more information, call 904.819.2629 or visit www.britishnightwatch.org.

FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK

Join one of St. Augustine’s most popular cultural events! Enjoy the latest exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments at over 20 participating galleries – plus, great food courtesy of the St. Augustine Independent Restaurant Association. Tours begin at Rembrandtz American Craft Gallery, 131 King Street. Free parking and complimentary train or trolley shuttle service to the galleries are available at San Sebastian Winery, 157 King Street. Galleries are open from 5 to 9 p.m. For more information, call 904.829.0065 or visit www.artgalleriesofstaugustine.com.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4

56TH ANNUAL ST. AUGUSTINE CHRISTMAS PARADE

The 56th Annual Christmas Parade has grown to be one of the largest parades in north Florida and includes floats, marching bands, cars, horses, and the arrival of Santa. The parade will start promptly at 10 a.m. by the Mission Nombre de Dios; continue through the downtown streets of historic St. Augustine and end behind the Visitors Center on Castillo Dr. For more information, call 904.824.4997.

BEACH PHOTOS WITH SANTA

Get a great holiday photo and help support the St. Augustine Lifesaving Association. From 9 a.m. to noon, Santa will be posing for photos on the beach just north of the county pier in St. Augustine Beach. For more information, call 904.540.4255.

SURF ILLUMINATION

Light up your evening at St. Augustine Beach’s Surf Illumination. This sparkling event includes the ceremonial lighting of the seasonal tree, city buildings and the park facilities with nautical-themed displays. Food and beverages are available and local arts and crafts vendors provide convenient shopping for the holiday season. It all takes place at the St. Augustine Beach Pier and Pavilion on A1A. For more information, call 904.347.8007 or visit www.thecivicassociation.com.

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4-5

ST. AUGUSTINE PIRATE AND TREASURE MUSEUM GRAND OPENING

Explore St. Augustine’s newest and much-anticipated attraction when its celebrity owner Pat Croce slashes the ribbon for the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum opposite the Castillo De San Marcos. The Pirate Museum promises to be an immersive experience with authentic pirate artifacts, including the only treasure chest and one of only two Jolly Roger flags in the world; the award-winning interactive Book of Pirates; the spine-tingling Below Deck experience designed by Disney Imagineers; and rarely-seen shipwreck treasures from the Florida Division of Historical Resources. Admission to the museum at 12 S. Castillo Drive is $11.99 for adults and $6.99 for children. Opening hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 877-467-5863 or visit them on the web atwww.thepiratemuseum.com.

WHITE PELICAN ECO-BOAT TOUR

Join a small group aboard a research vessel to explore the rivers in search of the White Pelican. These beautiful birds migrate here for the winter and guests will learn

about their unique behaviors. Guests will also learn about numerous other species of birds, bottlenose dolphins, and whatever floats by. Offered Saturday and Sunday from 10am-11:30. $35 per passenger maximum of 6 per trip. Call Capt. Zach for reservations 904-377-7245. www.staugustineecotours.com .

BRITISH ENCAMPMENT AND GRANDE ILLUMINATION

Experience life in St. Augustine during the 1763 to 1784 British occupation of the old city. The British encampment, located at the Colonial Spanish Quarter at 29 St. George Street, is open 9 a.m. to dusk. Activities include Fife and Drum Corps, authentic 18thcentury British soldiers, musket competitions and more. At 8 p.m., the Grande Illumination and British Night Watch Parade, an impressive pageantry of color and light that reflects the customs of St. Augustine’s 18th Century British occupants, begins at the Government House on the Plaza de la Constitucion. Following the parade, the British Governor’s holiday proclamation is read and soldiers fire their muskets in a Volley of Joy to salute the season! Free admission. For more information, call 904.829.5318 or go towww.britishnightwatch.org.