Armstrong celebrates Third Annual Rails to Trails Festival

400-GTM-RESERVE-BIKE-TRAILSMalinda Peeples has informed local Historic City News reporters that this weekend the Sea Community Gullah-Geechee organization will hold its 3rd Annual “Rails to Trails” festival; honoring the Gullah-Geechee ancestors and neighbors from the small St Johns County community that now forms our connection to the National Park Service Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. Continue reading

Thanksgiving week entertainment suggestions

400-D-D-HOLIDAY-ESPIRITUBarbara Golden, Communications Manager for the St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and the Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau, reminds Historic City News readers who reside in St Johns County that admission is free of charge to the Oldest House, the Lightner Museum, the Ximenez-Fatio House, the Oldest Wooden School House, City Walks History Mystery Murder Evening Tour and the Hotel Ponce de Leon Legacy Tours at Flagler College, with valid identification. Continue reading

Entertainment for St Augustine and St Johns County


Historic City News readers who reside in St Johns County and present a valid ID are always admitted free of charge to the Oldest House, the Lightner Museum, the Ximenez-Fatio House, the Oldest Wooden School House, 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 and St. Augustine Distillery 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 ID.

Monday – Sunday: November 17 – 23

Undisclosed: Photographs from the Hidden Lightner ExhibitionFor the past two years, photographer Theresa Segal has explored the historic Lightner Museum’s restricted fourth floor: 44 small rooms that were the servants quarters of the Alcazar Hotel, but now make up “the best attic in the world,” says Segal.  This new exhibition features a selection of 20 of her photographs that chronicle the museum’s hidden, stored collections.   Regular museum admission is $10 adults; $6 for active duty military; $5 college student and youth ages 12-18; under 12 are free.  75 King St., St. Augustine. 904-824-2874

Dressing of the Palms in Vilano Beach – The third 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.  Prizes for the best decorated palms will be awarded December 6 at the first Saturday Vilano Beach Sunset Celebration.   Vilano Beach Main St., St. Augustine. 904-910-8386

The First City through the Eyes of the Masters – This 450th Commemorative exhibition features St. Augustine-themed works from perhaps the best collection of Florida painters in the 19th and early 20th centuries. This includes the work of Frank Henry Shapleigh, who wintered at Henry Flagler’s Ponce de Leon Hotel from 1886 to 1887 and was the hotel’s resident artist from 1889 to 1892. The exhibition is uniquely displayed in a then and now format. Each early St. Augustine painting is accompanied by a current photograph of the exact same location and perspective for visitors to explore how America’s first city has changed throughout history. The exhibition also features a walking tour brochure that provides locations, descriptions and distances to all of the St. Augustine historical sites depicted in the exhibition’s artwork. Free admission. Open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Located at the St. Augustine Visitors Information Center, 10 West Castillo Dr.

Monday – Saturday: November 17 – 23

Currents/Correntes Art Exhibition – “Currents/Correntes,” a collaboration between visual artist Cyriaco Lopes and poet Terri Witek, is on display at Flagler College’s Crisp-Ellert Art Museum.  The exhibition features photos printed on fabric and acrylics with accompanying sound to document the watery link between a Brazilian island, Florida and New York.  The museum is open Monday thru Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.   48 Sevilla St., St. Augustine. 904-826-8530

Tuesday: November 18

GTM Research Reserve Marineland LectureThis lecture series is held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 10 – 11 a.m. at the GTM Research Reserve Marineland Field Office.  The series is designed to help inform the public about their coastal natural world.  The lectures are free so space is limited and reservations are requested.  9741 N. Oceanshore Blvd., Marineland.  904-823-4500

Wednesday:  November 19

Farmer’s Arts and Crafts Market – Farmer’s Market located at the oceanside St. Johns County Pier Park featuring selections of fresh produce, plants, baked goods, fine art, jewelry and more!  Open 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. rain or shine. 350 A1A Beach Blvd., St. Augustine Beach. 904-347-8007

Thursday – Sunday: November 20 – 23

Clybourne Park at Limelight TheatreProduced in conjunction with “Lift Up Lincolnville,” Clybourne Park is a play by Bruce Norris written in response to Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun.  Clybourne Park applies a modern twist to the issues of race and housing and aspirations for a better life. Performance times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday – Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.  Tickets are $25; $22 seniors; $20 student and military. 11 Old Mission Ave., St. Augustine. 904-825-1164

Friday:  November 20

Surf Illumination at the St. Augustine Beach Pier ParkThis colorful and exciting event complements the seasonal lighting of A1A Beach Blvd. in St. Augustine Beach.  The event, from 3 – 7 p.m. at the pier, includes the ceremonial lighting of the Holiday Tree by the mayor, food and beverages offered by local restaurants and many local arts and crafts vendors providing convenient shopping for the holiday season.  Santa, musical performers, face painting, bounce house and traditional carolers make it fun for all!  350 A1A Beach Blvd. St. Augustine Beach. 904-347-8007

Saturday:  November 22

Old City Farmers’ Market – Features locally grown fresh produce, baked goods, plants and more.  Located at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Open 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  Admission is free. 1340 A1A, St. Augustine. 904-471-3733


Family Seining at the GTM Research ReserveJoin GTM Research Reserve docents from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. to learn how to pull a seine net, collecting species of fish, crabs and more.  Learn about the animals and their roles in the habitat.  Waders and boots will be provided. The program is included with regular admission to the Reserve and takes place in the Environmental Education Center.   505 Guana River Rd., Ponte Vedra Beach. 904-823-4500

30th Annual Ancient City Auto Club Car Show – See the best in stock and modified autos from throughout the years at this popular annual show that takes place beneath the shady oaks of the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind.  Registration is 8 – 11 a.m. with a 3 p.m. awards presentation for first thru third in 36 classes.  Vehicle pre-registration is $15 and $20 the day of the show.  Spectator admission is free.  209 N San Marco Blvd., St. Augustine. 904-794-1941 


Nights of Lights Light-Up! Night  – Be there when the 21st Annual Nights of Lights celebration sparkles to life at 6:30 p.m. in St. Augustine’s Plaza de la Constitucion.  During Nights of Lights, nearly three million tiny white lights bring the glow of holiday magic to St. Augustine – from the ground to the rooftops.  Selected by National Geographic in 2011 and 2012 as one of the ten best holiday lighting displays in the world.   Holiday music, the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree and an exciting countdown add to the splendor of the lighting of this dazzling holiday light display. 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 450-year history and illuminates the beautiful setting for lasting holiday memories.  The lights are displayed through Feb. 1. 10 Cathedral Place, St. Augustine.

Candlelight Tours of Castillo de San Marcos – The Castillo de San Marcos National Monument presents special candlelight tours featuring a “Soldiers Through Time” event with re-enactors representing soldiers who served at the Castillo.  These include soldiers from the First Spanish Period (1695-1763); British Redcoats (1763-1784); and the American Civil War (1861-1865).  The tours begin at 6:45, 7, 7:15, 7:30, 7:45 and 8 p.m. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are priced at $8 for adults (age 16 and up); $4 for children ages 5-15, under 5 free.  1 South Castillo Dr., St. Augustine. 904-829-6506, ext.233

The Downtown Bazaar  – The Downtown Bazaar is held from 6 – 10 p.m. on the grounds of the Colonial Quarter.  The event is open to the public and includes a free concert, art show, magician, face painters a flag raising ceremony and more.  Come check out what’s behind the walls of the Colonial Quarter…you’re sure to have an inspiring evening.  33 St. George St., St. Augustine. 904-315-7454

Saturday – Sunday: November 22 & 23

Oldest Wooden School House: A Traditional Menorcan Christmas – Celebrate a Traditional Menorcan Christmas at The Oldest Wooden School House.  Located in what was known as the Menorcan Quarter of historic St. Augustine, the School House dates back to the 1700s.  The Menorcans are the foundation of St. Augustine as a living, viable city.  Stop in to see the beautiful museum and garden lit by the soft glow of the Nights of Lights as well as a traditional Christmas tree and decor.  Winter hours are 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday – Thursday & 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday as well as the week of December 23 – January 3.  Admission is $4.95 for adults; $3.95 for children ages 6 -12, under 6 free.  14 St. George St., St. Augustine. 904-824-0192

Sunday:   November 23

The Holly Jolly Nights of Lights TrolleyTickets are $12 adults; $5 children ages 6-12; free age 5 and younger.  Free parking and shuttle service to the tour is available from the Old Jail, 167 San Marco Ave. and the Old Town Trolley Welcome Center at 1700 N. Ponce de Leon Blvd. The Visitor Information Center is located at 10 W. Castillo Dr., St. Augustine. 904-829-3800

Heart rocks the Amphitheatre

300-HEART-CONCERTHeart rocks the Amphitheatre

Mark Cubbedge, Special Events Photographer

Heart has never been a band that shied away from its musical influences of the 1970s and it performed a brilliant mix of cover tunes interspersed with its own mega-hits that kept a sold-out crowd on their feet most of the soggy evening last night at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Continue reading