3/31/2011

Events: Taste of St. Augustine and First Friday Art Walk

SATURDAY, APRIL 2

15th ANNUAL TASTE OF ST. AUGUSTINE

Savor the unique tastes of St. Augustine during this flavorful event that showcases more than 30 area restaurants' signature dishes. All the fun takes place from noon to 8 p.m. at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre which will be transformed into a culinary marketplace offering "signature tastes" as well as cookbooks, cooking equipment and other specialty food items. Throughout the afternoon and evening restaurants are judged for the "best of" 'upscale dining', 'ethnic tastes', 'family dining', 'desserts', and 'The People's Choice Award'. Admission to the Taste of St. Augustine is $5 and taste tickets are $1 each with restaurants charging between 1 and 5 tickets per taste. Call 904.829.3295 or visit www.epiccommunityservices.org.

FRIDAY, APRIL 1 * FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK

Enjoy the latest exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments at more than 20 St. Augustine art galleries. Park for free at the San Sebastian Winery, 157 King Street, where sightseeing trains and trolleys offer free round-trips to the heart of the art district - or go on your own self-guided art walk. Galleries are open from 5 to 9 p.m. For more information, call 904.829.0065 or visitwww.artgalleriesofstaugustine.com.

3/24/2011

This Weekend's Events

FRIDAY, MARCH 25

MURRAY BROTHERS CADDYSHACK CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT

Join comedian Bill Murray, his brothers and a cast of celebrities for "A Good Time for a Great Cause" - the 11th annual charity golf tournament held at St. Augustine's World Golf Village. The event will kick off Thursday with a pairings party, Crazy Pants contest hosted by Joel Murray and silent auction at Murray Bros. Caddyshack Restaurant at World Golf Village. On Friday, the tournament tees off at 9:30 a.m. Enjoy live music, food and entertainment throughout the day. The awards ceremony and post party take place from 7 p.m. to midnight. The tournament will consist of morning and afternoon flights on both of World Golf Village's championship golf courses, Slammer & Squire and King & Bear. Proceeds benefit The Guardian Catholic Schools. For more information, visitwww.caddyshackcharitygolf.com

STREET FESTIVAL AT PALENCIA

Celebrate Spring Break with the 3rd Annual Street Festival in Palencia. Opening at 5 p.m. at the Palencia Club, 600 Palencia Club Drive in St. Augustine, the festival includes dancing in the streets, live music by the Broad Brothers and D.J. Keith, dance performances, bouncy house, Smokey Bear, the Easter Bunny, Fairy Godmother and lots of vendors. All proceeds go to the Susan G. Koeman For the Cure. Admission is free. For more information, call 904.599.9040 x100.


SATURDAY, MARCH 26


LOW TIDE BIKE RIDE AT ANASTASIA STATE PARK

Get a great cardio workout on one of the most awesome beaches in Florida. The ride is a 3 ½ mile loop and includes an ecology talk at the point of Conch Island. Riders should be prepared for weather conditions on the beach which could be influenced by heat, cold, wind and sand. This fun and energetic ride takes place at 9 a.m. Bring at least one pint of water, bicycle, snack, binoculars, and sunscreen. Bike rentals will be available. Admission to the park is $8 per vehicle, up to 8 people, $4 for single occupant admission, and $2 for pedestrians and bicyclists. Anastasia State Park is located on A1A on Anastasia Island in St. Augustine. For more information, call 904.461.2035, or visitwww.floridastateparks.org/anastasia.

LIVING HISTORY DAYS AT FORT MOSE

See history come alive as members of the Los Presidiales de San Agustín present 18th-century historical interpretation programs. Established in 1738, Fort Mose is the site of the first, legally sanctioned free black settlement in the continental U.S. The program is weather permitting. The demonstrations take place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Fort Mose State Park located at 15 Fort Mose Trail in St. Augustine. Admission is $2 per person. For more information, call 904.823.2232 or visit www.floridastateparks.org/fortmose.

UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT

From 5 to 9 p.m., enjoy live music, refreshments, new exhibits, book signings and much more at the galleries, antique stores and unique shops on St. Augustine's San Marco Avenue between Ripley's Museum and the Mission Nombre de Dios. The Mission Nombre de Dios provides FREE PARKING. For more information, call 904.823.9263.


3/18/2011

Events in St. Augustine This Weekend

SATURDAY MARCH 19


19TH ANNUAL LIGHTHOUSE FESTIVAL

Bring the family and join the fun when admission to the tower, grounds, and museum is free from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The historic Light Station will offer something for everyone, including local musicians and entertainers throughout the day, special games and crafts for children, food, living history portrayals, pony rides, terrestrial and maritime archaeology activities, contests and much more. This year's featured attraction is the ship building and interpretive programs about the area's Spanish maritime cultural heritage. St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum is located at 81 Lighthouse Avenue, St. Augustine. For more information, call 904.829.0745 or visit www.staugustinelighthouse.com.


19th ANNUAL ST. AUGUSTINE LIGHTHOUSE 5K RUN & FUN RUN

Spend the day at St. Augustine Lighthouse Festival then compete in the 19th Annual Lighthouse Michelob Ultra 5K. The run begins at 4 p.m. and will take place on a flat 3.1-mile course with chip timing, A fun run on the same course will take place at 4 p.m. For more information, call 386.747.3532 or visit http://www.lighthouse5k.com.


SUNSET/MOONRISE TOUR

Enjoy the sunset and moonrise from the most unique perspective in all of St. Augustine - the top of the Lighthouse! This special event includes a champagne toast, provided by San Sebastian Winery, hors d'oeuvres from The Reef and an informative overview of the history of the St. Augustine Light Station. The tour takes place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the St. Augustine Lighthouse located at 81 Lighthouse Avenue. The fee is $25 for non-museum members and $20 for members. Reservations are required. For more information, visit www.StAugustineLighthouse.com, or to reserve a spot, call 904.829.0745.

3/17/2011

ERIN GO BRAUGH

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY
FROM JOE & MARGARET FINNEGAN
AND THE ST FRANCIS INN STAFF

3/16/2011

They're Baaaaack!

Our Lions are Back - Guarding the Bridge!

(Story and Picture from the St. Augustine Record)

Lions return to guard bridge


The white marble lions returned to their rightful place at the base of the Bridge of Lions early Tuesday morning after spending more than six years away in storage.

The Bridge of Lions closed from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. early Tuesday morning as city officials, St. Augustine police and construction workers placed the large lions at the edges of the bridge.

“We purposely picked this time because its when the least amount of people will be affected,” said Jim Piggott, director of general services with the city of St. Augustine. “This will be the first time I’ll get to see the lions in place since I started working for the city. This is a big night.”

The lions made a grand entrance down King Street on the back of a large truck while being escorted by police patrol cars. Their sirens could be heard across town as they made their way to the bridge on an otherwise quiet and deserted night.

A large crane and a team of less than 10 workers were able to lift each lion and carefully place them on each side of the Bridge of Lions. The entire procedure took a little more than two hours.

Mayor Joe Boles and his family, Vice Mayor Errol Jones and City Manager John Regan took photos together in front of the first lion that was placed on the right side closest to the St. Augustine Municipal Marina. They each wrote a short note and placed a coin or dollar bill under the platform of the lion for good luck before it was secured at the base of the bridge.

A dozen or so others watched from behind police tape at first, then crept closer as the lions were lifted into the air by crane and cautiously placed down on the bridge.

One lane of the bridge remained open while public works officials worked to fix a small dip in the road that officials discovered Monday afternoon, said public works director, Martha Graham. Workers found an abandoned water pipe at the base of the bridge that caused a minor dip in the road, she said.

Public works officials cut the pipe and replaced the road with new asphalt around 2 a.m., before the lions arrived.

The lions are named “Firm” and “Faithful,” said spokesman for the city, Paul Williamson.

“The names are also on the World War I flag monument across the street,” he said.

Plans for an event to formally celebrate the return of the lions is still in it’s planning stages, Williamson said.

“We’re going to wait until the rest of the beautification of the bridge is completed,” he said. “This could be months away, but we want to have all of the landscaping done first.”

3/10/2011

Events: Celtic Festival, Menorcan Festival, Seafood Festival and more!



















MENORCAN HERITAGE CELEBRATION
* SATURDAY MARCH 12 *
*ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE ST FRANCIS INN*
Come learn about this unique cultural heritage and try some delicious food! Menorcan (sometimes spelled Minorcan) traditional foods include sausage, chicken and shrimp pilau, as well as clam chowder and baked goods. The Menorcan Heritage Society will hold their annual celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the historic Llambias House, located at 31 St. Francis Street in St. Augustine. There will be demonstrations of mullet net making, dance performances, and story telling by Menorcan descendents. There will be t-shirts, books, and foods for sale.
Menorcan (sometimes spelled Minorcan) traditional foods include sausage, chicken and shrimp pilau, as well as clam chowder and baked goods.Admission is free. For more information call 904. 826.3388.

ST. AUGUSTINE'S CELTIC FESTIVAL * MARCH 11 - 17 * FRIDAY - THURSDAY
Celebrate Celtic heritage at this Romanza-sponsored festival featuring internationally-acclaimed artists and a variety of performances in intimate settings amid St. Augustine's unparalleled beauty and charm. Some of the greatest living musicians, artists, writers and poets from Ireland, the U.S., and the Celtic region of Spain (home of St. Augustine's founder), will converge in this wonderfully romantic city for celebration of all things Celtic. The internationally-renowned Hevia from Aviles, Spain, will perform on Friday and Saturday nights and a host of entertainers will perform throughout the weeekend and at the gigantic St. Patrick's Day festival on March 17.

30th ANNUAL LIONS CLUB SEAFOOD FESTIVAL * MARCH 11-13 * FRI-SAT-SUN
Get ready to eat some great seafood, shop till you drop and then tap your toes to live music! These are just a few of the highlights of the 30th St. Augustine Lions Seafood Festival featuring tons of delicious seafood, outstanding music and affordable arts & crafts. Click here for more information.





3/04/2011

The Pirates are Coming!

THE SACK OF ST. AUGUSTINE: CAPT. ROBERT SEARLE'S RAID OF 1668

Relive a horrible day in history as the Historic Florida Militia re-enacts the Sack of St. Augustine. The sack occurred in 1668, when Capt. Robert Searle and his pirates sailed from Jamaica to loot the silver ingots held in the royal coffers at St. Augustine. The raiders will have an encampment set up at the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park on Magnolia Drive, where visitors can experience authentic 17th century arms, equipment and food Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturday, the buccaneers will proceed to the Plaza de la Constitucion where at 5 p.m. they will attack Spanish soldiers and St. Augustine citizens. Townspeople and soldiers flee up St. George Street to the Redoubt at Orange and Cordova Streets in the Historic District. For more information, call 904.534.6168, visit www.Searlesbucs.com.

ALSO THIS WEEKEND:

FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK

Enjoy the latest exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments at more than 20 St. Augustine art galleries. Park free at the San Sebastian Winery, 157 King Street, where sightseeing trains and trolleys offer free round-trips to the heart of the art district - or go on your own self-guided art walk. Galleries are open from 5 to 9 p.m. For more information, call 904.829.0065 or visit www.artgalleriesofstaugustine.com.

FIRST FRIDAY MUSIC AT THE BASILICA

Stop by the Cathedral Basilica to listen to a First Friday Art Walk concert by soprano Hsiao-Ling Wang; metzzo soprano, Janet Rabe-Meyer; and organist Judy Brown. The concert begins at 6 p.m. and admission is free. The Cathedral Basilica is located on Cathedral Place along St. Augustine's Plaza de La Constitucion. For more information, call 904.824.2896.

Lions return March 15 to guard Bridge

From the St. Augustine Record - March 3, 2011

Nearly a year after the rehabilitated Bridge of Lions reopened to traffic, its namesake statues will be brought home to symbolically protect the city.

City officials announced Wednesday that the two marble lion statues will be re-installed during the early morning hours of March 15. The project is expected to last four hours and will require closing the bridge to traffic from 2 a.m. until 6 a.m. that day.

The lions stood patiently at the western approach to the bridge from its opening in 1927 until rehab work on the bridge began in Feb. 14, 2005.

The bridge reopened to traffic on March 17, 2010, so the lions were gone for 2,220 days.

Their placement will not damage the landscaping installations, which started in early February.

The only road closure will be the Bridge of Lions itself, although temporary detours may be implemented by the St. Augustine Police Department.

The statues were removed by the City of St. Augustine, their owners, before the start of the rehabilitation work and placed in storage for safe keeping. While they were stored in a controlled environment, the city contracted to have them restored.

The Florida Department of Transportation provided a grant of $40,000 for the relocation, storage and restoration of the statues. The restoration work was done by Enzo Torcoletti and Joe Segal of Moultrie Creek Studios, St. Augustine.

The project is managed by the city's General Services Department and the relocation will be handled by Southeastern Rigging & Storage, Orlando, a company experienced in the relocation of large objects and fine art.

After the lions are back in place, the bridge project will still not be complete.

Still to come are the landscaping in parks on both the east and west approaches to the bridge as well as the Ponce and Anderson traffic circles.

That work should be done by spring.

The lions were a gift to the city in 1926 by Dr. Andrew Anderson, a native of St. Augustine who became a close friend of Henry Flagler and served as the city mayor in 1886.

Anderson is responsible for giving a number of public monuments to the city, including the statue of Ponce de Leon, which stands in a small park just east of the Plaza de la Constitucion and the flag pole and monument base just to the north of the Ponce statue.

Since the time of the installation is not spectator-friendly, and the area where the installation taking place is restricted, the city requests people wait to welcome the lions until later in the day after they have returned home.

For information, call the city's Public Affairs Department at 825-1053.