Jay Humphreys, Communications Director for the Visitors and Convention Bureau announced to Historic City News that there will be living history presentations and lectures next weekend to commemorate Ponce de Leon’s landing in Florida.
Members of Florida Living History Inc., will present a series of lectures providing new insight into the Spanish explorer’s voyage as well as the land and people he encountered 498 years ago.
Admission to this new lecture series is free of charge. The lectures are funded by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council through the National Endowment for the Humanities.
On both Saturday and Sunday, April 2nd and 3rd, demonstrations and special programs will be taking place at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park located at 11 Magnolia Avenue in St. Augustine.
Saturday: April 2
11 a.m. – Prelude to La Florida: An Archaeological Perspective on the World of Juan Ponce in America, 1493-c.1513, Dr. Kathleen Deagan, Distinguished Research Curator Emerita, Lockwood Professor of Caribbean and Florida Archaeology, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida.
1 p.m. – A Sailor’s Life in the Early Spanish Caribbean, Dr. Samuel P. Turner, Director of Archaeology, Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program, St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum.
3 p.m. – New Currents in La Florida’s History: The Post-Ponce Southeast, Dr. Susan R. Parker, Executive Director, St. Augustine Historical Society.
Sunday: April 3
2 p.m. – “I, Juan Garrido”: The Life of a Black Conquistador, a historical interpretation by Mr. James Bullock, playwright and author.
Visitors are welcome to experience an authentic early-16th century Spanish encampment. Admission to the park is $10 for adults; $9 for seniors and $6 for children ages 6-12. St. Johns County residents with ID are admitted at no charge.
Long associated with Ponce de Leon’s momentous voyage of 1513, Florida’s historic coast will serve as a center of studies and events related to the 500th anniversary of the first major landing by Europeans on the shores of what would become the continental United States.
Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer