Romanza to be signature event during 450th

It has been announced to Historic City News that “Romanza”, a world-class, multi-day celebration of music, arts, theater, dance and food will serve as a signature event for the three-year-long celebration of the 450th anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine.

Planning is already well underway for Romanza whose slogan is “Where the Arts Embrace the Sea”. The name Romanza was selected to reflect St. Augustine as the City of Romance.

Enthusiasm was overwhelming in July when nearly two dozen community leaders, representatives of local cultural and business organizations and interested citizens gathered to define and kick-off the planning for the major cultural heritage festival that will be focused on venues all over our area.

The vote was overwhelming: a Charleston Spoleto-style music and arts festival here, called Romanza.

The concept, discussed over the years, has taken root through the efforts of residents Albert Syeles and Phebe Wehr.

Syeles said, “The timing is finally right. Our festival will continue annually — indefinitely. The event is proposed for mid-May to attract new vitality in a slow period, when no other big events are scheduled, and visitors have historically been fewer, but the weather is fantastic.”

The event will feature internationally-known entertainers and emerging artists who will be showcased through a variety of venues, most within walking distance of the heart of the Ancient City’s historic district.

Romanza will focus unprecedented attention on the city’s exceptional culture, diverse heritage, European architecture, exciting history and unmatched natural beauty.

Romanza will debut in May 2012 and will continue annually as a major cultural event appealing to both domestic and international audiences. When fully-developed, it is expected that Romanza will be a more than a week-long with events expanding to locations throughout St. Johns County.

Many local organizations, venues and businesses are already offering support for this showcase event, including the St. Augustine Art Association, the Limelight Theater, the EMMA Concert Association, the St. Augustine Yacht Club, the St. Augustine Independent Restaurant Association, and the city’s 450th Commemorative Commission.

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