Historic City News readers can get immersed in St. Augustine’s British history this weekend with Night Watch, Encampment and Grande Illumination events beginning Friday — as well as other entertainment suggestions from St. Augustine Visitors and Convention Bureau Communications Director Jay Humphreys.
Friday: December 3
BRITISH NIGHT WATCH OPENING EVENTS when at 4 p.m. three captured signers of the Declaration of Independence arrive to be imprisoned. It’s a raucous occasion until order is restored at the City Gate, Plaza de la Constitucion and Government House. For more information, call 904.819.2629 or visit www.britishnightwatch.org.
FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK
Join one of St. Augustine’s most popular cultural events! Enjoy the latest exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments at over 20 participating galleries – plus, great food courtesy of the St. Augustine Independent Restaurant Association. Tours begin at Rembrandtz American Craft Gallery, 131 King Street. Free parking and complimentary train or trolley shuttle service to the galleries are available at San Sebastian Winery, 157 King Street. Galleries are open from 5 to 9 p.m. For more information, call 904.829.0065 or visit www.artgalleriesofstaugustine.com.
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT
Enjoy an entertaining evening in St. Augustine’s while the kids experience fun and adventure at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. Each child will enjoy hands-on animal presentations, a twilight tour of the zoo, nocturnal games, 2 slices of pizza and a beverage. The event is 6-10 p.m. and the cost per child (ages 5-12 only) is $25 for members, $30 for non-members. To register, please call Katie at 824.3337, ext. 29.
ST. JOHNS COUNTY FESTIVAL OF TREES AT WORLD GOLF VILLAGE
The sixth-annual Festival of Trees opens at 6 p.m. at the St. Johns County Convention Center adjacent to the Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village. The event, free and open to the public, showcases trees and wreaths decorated by businesses, organizations, families and friends from the community. The event will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the final day, Sunday, Dec. 12. Trees will be part of a silent auction and visitors will also be encouraged to fill out a ballot indicating the number of votes (in minimum $1 bids) they would like to cast for their favorite trees. All proceeds raised during the event will go directly to two St. Johns County-based charities, The St. Augustine Record’s Empty Stocking Fund and the United Way of St. Johns County. For more information, visit the Event Calendar at www.WorldGolfHallofFame.org or call (904) 940-4015.
Friday, Saturday & Sunday: December 3-5
SANTA’S FAMILY FUN HOLIDAY VILLAGE
Visit Santa’s Village and Toy Workshop for holiday family fun in St. Augustine. Children will get to visit Santa’s workshop to make their own ornament, enjoy holiday treats and visit with the jolly old elf himself – Santa! Fun for kids of all ages, admission is $3 per or free with the purchase of a Red Sightseeing Nights of Lights Train ticket. Santa’s Village takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday; 1-9 p.m. on Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday both this weekend and next. The workshop will be open daily from 1 to 9 p.m. on December 17-23. Santa’s Family Fun Holiday Village is located at the Sightseeing Trains Depot on the corner of Orange Street and Cordova Street. For more information, call 904.829.6545 or visit www.redtrains.com.
Saturday: December 4
PAL DAY HONORS ACTIVE MILITARY PERSONNEL
The 47th annual appreciation day includes free admission to participating attractions, free tour rides and free lunch for active duty military personnel in uniform and their dependents. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Elks Lodge on State Road A1A across the Bridge of Lions from downtown. Participating attractions offering free admission to active duty military personnel in uniform and their dependents include: The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, Old Jail and Florida Heritage Museum, Castillo de San Marcos, Fort Matanzas, Fountain of Youth, St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum, Government House Museum, Mission Nombre de Dios, Museum of Weapons and American History, Old Florida Museum, Oldest House, Old St. Augustine Village, Potter’s Wax Museum, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Spanish Military Hospital and Spanish Quarter on North St. George Street.
BEACH PHOTOS WITH SANTA
Get a great holiday photo and help support the St. Augustine Lifesaving Association. From 9 a.m. to noon, Santa will be posing for photos on the beach just north of the county pier in St. Augustine Beach. For more information, call 904.540.4255.
56TH ANNUAL ST. AUGUSTINE CHRISTMAS PARADE
The 56th Annual Christmas Parade has grown to be one of the largest parades in north Florida and includes floats, marching bands, cars, horses, and the arrival of Santa. The parade will start promptly at 10 a.m. by the Mission Nombre de Dios; continue through the downtown streets of historic St. Augustine and end behind the Visitors Center on Castillo Dr. For more information, call 904.824.4997.
GUANA RIVER SUNSET KAYAK TOUR
Enjoy the sounds of birds and the rhythms of nature while watching the sun set over the preserve – while paddling your kayak through this magnificent preserve. A certified Master Naturalist Instructor interprets the abundance of wildlife in one or Northeast Florida’s most outstanding natural wonders. The tour is from 4 to 6 p.m. and the cost is $55 per person. The tours depart from GTM Research Reserve, located on A1A North, between St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra. For more information, call 904.347.1565.
HOLIDAY TEA PARTY AT WASHINGTON OAKS GARDENS STATE PARK
Bring the children to Washington Oaks Gardens for a Holiday Tea Party with Mrs. Claus. Activities include sharing a Christmas wish list; having a souvenir photograph taken with Mrs. Claus; making a Reindeer sandwich for the tea party; storytelling; and, doing arts and crafts. Tickets are $20 per child. The Tea Party takes place from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and is open to children ages 5 to 8. For more information and reservations, call 386.446.6783.
Light up your evening at St. Augustine Beach’s Surf Illumination. This sparkling event includes the ceremonial lighting of the seasonal tree, city buildings and the park facilities with nautical-themed displays. Food and beverages are available and local arts and crafts vendors provide convenient shopping for the holiday season. It all takes place at the St. Augustine Beach Pier and Pavilion on A1A. For more information, call 904.347.8007 or visit www.thecivicassociation.com.
Saturday and Sunday: December 4 & 5
WHITE PELICAN ECO-BOAT TOUR
Join a small group aboard a research vessel to explore the rivers in search of the White Pelican. These beautiful birds migrate here for the winter and guests will learn
about their unique behaviors. Guests will also learn about numerous other species of birds, bottlenose dolphins, and whatever floats by. Offered Saturday and Sunday from 10am-11:30. $35 per passenger maximum of 6 per trip. Call Capt. Zach for reservations 904-377-7245. www.staugustineecotours.com .
BRITISH ENCAMPMENT AND GRANDE ILLUMINATION
Experience life in St. Augustine during the 1763 to 1784 British occupation of the old city. The British encampment, located at the Colonial Spanish Quarter at 29 St. George Street, is open 9 a.m. to dusk. Activities include Fife and Drum Corps, authentic 18th century British soldiers, musket competitions and more. At 8 p.m., the Grande Illumination and British Night Watch Parade, an impressive pageantry of color and light that reflects the customs of St. Augustine’s 18th Century British occupants, begins at the Government House on the Plaza de la Constitucion. Following the parade, the British Governor’s holiday proclamation is read and soldiers fire their muskets in a Volley of Joy to salute the season! Free admission. For more information, call 904.829.5318 or go to www.britishnightwatch.org.
ST. AUGUSTINE COMMUNITY ORCHESTRA WITH CHORUS HOLIDAY CONCERT
The St. Augustine Community Orchestra will perform Sounds of the Season featuring selections from Leroy Anderson, Katherine Davis and Newell Long – all in a festive spirit! Plus, the 35-member Bartram High School Chorus will perform under the direction of Barbara Mattingly. The Saturday performance begins at 8 p.m. amid the historical and artistic beauty of the Lightner Museum, 75 King Street in St. Augustine. An encore performance will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday at the Switzerland Community Church, 2179 SR 13 in Switzerland located in northwest St. Johns County. Admission is $10 for adults and children are free. For more Information, call 904.825.1766 or go to: www.staugustineorchestra.com.
Sunday: December 5
42nd ANNUAL GARDEN CLUB CHRISTMAS TOUR OF HOMES
Enjoy the St. Augustine Garden Club’s annual tour showcasing eight private homes along the city’s southern Bayfront. These beautifully-decorated historic Florida style homes give participants a taste of nostalgia in the colorful floral decorations and arrangements composed of natural materials designed and hand crafted by members of The Garden Club of St. Augustine. Tickets include admission to a Tea and Boutique held in the Trinity Episcopal Church Hall on Artillery Lane. The Red Train will provide complimentary transport for visitors between homes and the Downtown Historic Parking Facility. The tour takes place from noon to 5 p.m. The Tea and Boutique starts at 1 p.m. Admission is $20 in advance and $25 day of tour. For more information, call 904.826.0024 or visit www.gardenclubofstaugustine.org .
THE WIVES AND LIVES OF HENRY FLAGLER
Enjoy dinner and a lively production of this theatrical portrayal of the Flagler legacy. Following a specially prepared dinner by the chefs at Raintree Restaurant, this Limelight Theatre production cast of theatre veterans, Margaret Kaler, Dianne Jacoby, Darlene Jacobs, and Robert Gill, take the stage for what promises to be a stellar performance. Dinner is served at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $39.95. It all takes place at Raintree Restaurant, located at 102 San Marco Avenue in St. Augustine. For more information and tickets, call 904.825.1164