City clean-up crews were out in full force, collecting the trash, sweeping the streets and restoring order after the throngs of Saturday night’s revelers returned to there homes — although some in attendance were already home.
Estimates of well over a thousand people filled the Plaza de la Constitución for “Light-Up! Night” ceremonies Saturday evening.
The festivities began at 4:00 p.m. with a spirited holiday performance by Showtime USA. The high energy, fun filled singing and dancing troupe performed under the King’s Balcony of Government House at the west end of the Plaza.
Then at 5:30pm, the All Star Orchestra returned for a second year’s performance. The popular 20-piece band, performing from the Gazebo, filled the Plaza with great swing music and big band sounds all in grand holiday style.
St. Augustine Mayor Joe Boles entertained an elite group of guests, in holiday cocktail attire, who agreed to pay $150 per person to benefit the local homeless shelter’s building fund.
Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were served prior to the lighting ceremony. After the ceremony, guests were led by a 1740 honor guard to the courtyard of the historic Lightner Museum for an elegant evening of dinner, catered by the Casa Monica Hotel, dancing to the tunes of The Committee and a silent auction.
Ironically, perhaps, the Plaza has become home to transients who are in fact homeless. So, for them, under cover of their makeshift bedding, these vagrants camping in the Plaza will enjoy 2 million night-lights courtesy of the city and local merchants until January 31st.
Photo credit: © 2009 Historic City News photographer Kerry McGuire