Barbara Golden, Communications Manager for the St Augustine, Ponte Vedra and the Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau, informed local Historic City News reporters about the following entertaining events for our St Johns County readers.
Local Resident Specials
St Johns County residents with valid identification are always admitted free of charge to the Oldest House, the Lightner Museum, the Fountain of Youth (special events excluded), the Ximenez-Fatio House, the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse, City Walks History Mystery Murder Evening Tour and the Hotel Ponce de Leon Legacy Tours at Flagler College. The daily tours and wine tastings at the San Sebastian Winery are free to everyone. Also, admission is free to everyone at the Fort Matanzas National Monument, St Photios Chapel, the Pena-Peck House, the Father Miguel O’Reilly Museum and the Mission Nombre de Dios Museum. Many other local attractions offer discounted admissions to St Johns County residents with valid identification.
|Monday – Sunday : December 30 – January 5|
Nights of Lights – Selected by National Geographic Traveler in 2011 and 2012 as one of the ten best holiday lighting displays in the world, St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights feature millions of tiny white lights that create a magical atmosphere in the Nation’s oldest city. Tracing its origins to the Spanish tradition of displaying a white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays, the spectacular lighting reflects the city’s 449-year history and illuminates the beautiful setting for lasting holiday memories. www.NightsofLights.com
Nights of Lights Tours – The City of St. Augustine shines a little brighter during Nights of Lights. There are several tours available that make the holiday experience even more brilliant during this special time of year. Click here for a list of Nights of Lights Tours!
|Monday – Wednesday: December 30 – January 1|
TPC Sawgrass Tour of Trees – Come experience the self-guided tour of the grandiose TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse to view the spectacular holiday decorations in each room! The Clubhouse is open daily from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is free. 110 Championship Way, Ponte Vedra Beach. 904-543-5105 www.tpc.com/sawgrass
|Monday – Saturday: December 30 – January 4|
Dressing of the Palms in Vilano Beach – The second annual Dressing of the Palms along Vilano Beach features palm trees decorated in holiday finery – A Celebration of Coastal Living. The trees showcase creative talents of residents, artists, businesses, clubs, schools, and organizations. Vilano Beach Main St., St. Augustine. 904-910-8386 www.VilanoBeachFL.com
|Tuesday: December 30 – New Year’s Eve|
|New Year’s Eve Balloon Drop 2013 – The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach brings back the bang with a New Year’s Eve Noon Balloon Drop. Snap, crackle, and pop in a bubble-wrap room as kids jump to the jingles of holiday tunes. Create a hilarious hat with eyes that wiggle or make party masks that will make everyone giggle. Hundreds of balloons will drop at noon on the dot. Free to members; non-members $5 per person or family of four for $15. No pets or strollers please, space is limited. 50 Executive Way, Ponte Vedra Beach. 904-280-0614 ext. 203 www.ccpvb.org
Beach Blast-Off 2014 – Kick off 2014 in seaside style at this special two-day, St. Augustine Beach event! Enjoy a blast of flavor, ice sculptures, live music, a chili cook-off, great fireworks and much more. Kids Zone features 10 inflatables, face painting and Human Hamster Balls. Adults can enjoy beer and wine and more than 30 food vendors. The Dance Company entertains and there’s dunk tank for laughs — plus amazing ice sculpting! Monday from 4-8 p.m., the Fire and Ice Chili Cook-off features local chefs competing in a regional qualifier for the World Chili Cook-off Championship. Live music begins at 2 p.m. with The Big Picture followed by Midlife Crisis at 4 p.m.; Those Guys at 6 p.m. and Seven Nations at 8 p.m. The fun continues throughout the day on Tuesday (New Year’s Eve) and features the huge fireworks show at 8:30 p.m. The day’s music lineup includes Man of Color at 2:30 p.m.; Falling Bones at 5 p.m., Mojo Roux at 7 p.m. and Seven Nations at 9 p.m. right after the fireworks. Admission is free. 350 A1A Beach Blvd., St. Augustine Beach 904-829-5681 www.beachblastoff.com
|Wednesday: January 1|
|First Day Hike: Walk on the Wild Side at Anastasia State Park – Join Park Service Specialists for the First Day Hike from 9 – 11 a.m. and observe what life is like on the wild side. The walk, from 9 – 11 a.m., starts out with a leisurely stroll through the maritime hammock and continuing through the estuarine habitat. After a break, the walk continues over the salt marsh, through the sand dunes and finishes on the shoreline. Participants may choose to only walk the first half or the full 2.5 miles round trip. Suggested items to bring are binoculars, comfortable walking shoes, camera, drinking water, bug spray, and sunscreen. The program is included in regular admission of $8 per vehicle. 300 Anastasia Park Rd., St. Augustine. 904-461-2033 www.floridastateparks.org/anastasia
First Day Hike Faver-Dykes State Park – Ranger-guided .5 mile loop trail nature hike begins near the picnic area and winds along pine flatwoods into the scrub along Pellicer Creek. While stopping along the way, participants will learn about the wildlife that may be seen in the park, the native flora and fauna, and a brief historical overview of the area. Bring binoculars, comfortable walking shoes, bug spray and water. The hike begins at 1 p.m. at the Ranger Station. Hike is included in admission ($5 per vehicle up to 8 people, $4 for single occupancy, or $2 per person on bicycle) to the park located at 1000 Faver-Dykes Road, St. Augustine. 904-794-0997 www.floridastateparks.org/faverdykes
Celebrate the New Year with a Trail Walk – The Washington Oaks Gardens State Park will celebrate the New Year with a First Day Out guided hike at 1 p.m. through the maritime hammock and estuary. The walk will start at the Bella Vista Trailhead stopping along the way to discuss flora and fauna and learn about the wildlife that may be seen in the park, and a brief historical overview of the area. Regular park entrance fee of $5 per vehicle, up to eight people; $4 per vehicle for single occupancy or $2 per person on bicycle applies. 6400 North Oceanshore Blvd., Palm Coast. 386-446-6780 www.floridastateparks.org/washingtonoaks
|Friday – Sunday: January 3 – 5|
|Portrait & Figure Show – The St. Augustine Art Association hosts a juried exhibition of expressions of the human face and form lending personality to a variety of styles and media. The gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday noon – 4 p.m. and Sunday 2 – 5 p.m. Admission is free. 22 Marine St. St. Augustine. 904-824-2310 www.staaa.org|
|Friday: January 3|
|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 more than 20 participating galleries in St. Augustine. Tours begin at San Sebastian Winery. Complimentary shuttle service to most galleries is provided by St. Augustine Sightseeing Trains and Old Town Trolleys. 157 King St., St. Augustine. 904-829-0065 www.artgalleriesofstaugustine.com|
|Saturday: January 4|
|Vilano Beach Sunset Celebration – A celebration of a spectacular sunset across the bay featuring dozens of market vendors, live music, local arts and crafts and more at the Vilano Pier on the Intracoastal Waterway. Activities are from 2 p.m. – dusk. Admission is free. 260 Vilano Rd., St. Augustine. 904-540-0402 www.vilanobeachfl.com
Evening Nature Program at Anastasia State Park – Park rangers or volunteers present programs on various topics ranging from sea turtles to star gazing. Programs take place at open-air pavilions with one of the most beautiful scenic backdrops in Northeast Florida as inspiration. Program included in regular admission of $8 per vehicle. Times vary throughout year. 1340-A A1A South, St. Augustine. 904-461-2035 www.floridastateparks.org/anastasia