Get out in the sunshine this weekend

Historic City News readers will find it hard to choose between the many special events going on this weekend, including 16th Annual Rhythm & Ribs Festival, EPIC 16th Annual Flower & Garden Expo, Sea Turtle Festival and Blessing of the fleet — just to name a few.

Friday: April 15

RUST AND SATIN EXHIBITION OPENS

Attend the grand opening of this exciting new exhibit of works by Jenny Hager-Vickery, Jacksonville artist and professor of sculpture at the University of North Florida. Titled “Rust and Satin,” the exhibition features pieces composed of cast iron and satin. The artist says this combination “signify traditional ideas about men and women in the workplace and also comment on the ideas of feminine beauty and grace.” The opening reception is from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach, 50 Executive Way. For more information, call 904.280.0614.

MIRANDA LAMBERT PERFORMS AT ST. AUGUSTINE AMPHITHEATRE

See one of country music’s hottest artists perform live at St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Miranda Lambert will appear live at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre — SORRY SOLD OUT. For more information, call 904.471.1965 or visit www.staugamphitheatre.com.

Friday, Saturday & Sunday: April 15-17

16TH ANNUAL RHYTHM & RIBS FESTIVAL

Enjoy non-stop music and award-winning scrumptious barbecue all weekend long. A Saturday night performance by Rock-and-Roll Hall of Famer, Dave Mason, lots of tasty ribs and barbecue, and plenty of children’s activities are part of this year’s featured events. Rhythm & Ribs takes place at Francis Field, located behind the historic Downtown Parking Facility on Castillo Drive in St. Augustine. The festival hours are Friday 5 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $2 per person, except Saturday evening, when it is $5. Kids 12 and under are free. For more information, visit www.rhythmandribs.net, or call 904.669.1872.

BEACH HORSEBACK RIDING

Experience the fun and excitement of horseback riding at the edge of the sea. Country Carriages offers daily one-hour (weather and tides permitting) rides from Surfside Park on Vilano Beach. The cost is $75 per person. For reservations (a must), departure times and more information, call 904.826.1982.

Saturday and Sunday: April 16-17

EPIC 16th ANNUAL FLOWER & GARDEN EXPO

Celebrate the arrival of spring in the Nation’s Oldest City with two days of flowers, friends and fun. Growers, educational seminars, nurseries and artisans from around the state offer gardeners everything they need to make spring bloom at this popular Flower and Garden Expo. Admission is $ 5 (which is good for both days) and children under 11 are admitted free. The Expo takes place at the St. Johns County Agricultural Center off SR 16 Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 904.829.3295 or visit www.epiccommunityservices.org.

MOCA ARTISTS TOUR

Meet St. Augustine artists in their studios and see their works in progress during this special tour presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville and sponsored by Regions Bank. The self-guided tour through the streets of the Nation’s oldest city features stops at the studios of seventeen artists. Plus, on Sunday from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., the Lightner Museum will be the setting for a Going, Going Gone Party and Auction featuring at least one piece from each participating artist. The tours take place each day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $40 ($35 for MOCA members) and include the tours each day and the Sunday evening auction and party. For details and to purchase tickets, call 904.366.6911 ext. 214.

Saturday: April 16

SEA TURTLE FESTIVAL

Keepers of the Coast present their annual festival welcoming the return of the sea turtles. There will be plenty of exhibits, games and more at the St. Johns County Pier and Pavilion, 350 A1A Beach Boulevard, St. Augustine Beach. For more details, visit www.keepersofthecoast.org or call 904.814.2172

PRINCESS PLACE KAYAK TOUR

Take this relaxing kayak tour and see why a Russian prince called Pellicer Creek home! Departing at 10 a.m. from Faver-Dykes Park (1000 Faver-Dykes Road, St. Augustine), this 3-hour tour explores one of the most bio-rich ecosystems on the planet. Otter, dolphins, bald eagles and many types of migratory birds are often seen. The cost is $55 per person which includes admission to the park, guide service and the finest kayaking equipment. For reservations, call 904.347.1565.

EASTER FESTIVAL AT WORLD GOLF HALL OF FAME

Enjoy a special Easter Breakfast for children and families at the World Golf Hall of Fame at World Golf Village located at I-95 Exit 323 in St. Augustine. For more information, call 904.940.4123 or visit www.wgv.com.

WORLD GOLF HALL OF FAME PUTTING CHAMPIONSHIP

Put your putt to the challenge when the World Golf Hall of Fame at World Golf Village hosts its 6th Annual Putting Championship on the Hall of Fame’s 18-hole, natural-grass putting course. Open to all amateur golfers in northeast Florida, the championship will continue for three weekends with the top 16 finalists competing on May 1 for the title of “World Golf Hall of Fame Putting Champion” and the opportunity to win more than $10,000 in prizes. Participants should register in advance. Day-of registrations will be subject to availability. For additional information and registration forms, call 904.940.4118 or visit www.wgv.com.

DOO-WOP MUSICAL SALUTE

Experience an exciting musical salute to The Platters, The Coasters, The Drifters and the Temptations at Fort Menendez at Old Florida Museum. Performed by Myles Savage, former lead singer from The Platters, this salute features the all-time classic songs of these immortal groups. The show begins at 7 p.m. with local musician Gary Lee Wingard as the opening act. Tickets are $40 (limited time, buy one-get one free!) Reservations are required. To purchase tickets, call Fort Menendez at Old Florida Museum at 904-824-8874 or visit www.oldfloridamuseum.com for more information. Fort Menendez is located at 259 San Marco Avenue St Augustine, Florida.

Sunday: April 17

BLESSING OF THE FLEET

Witness a ceremony that dates back to the City of St. Augustine’s Spanish occupation as those that take to the sea, in commercial and pleasure craft alike; receive a blessing from the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine. The event draws thousands on Palm Sunday to watch as watercraft from trawlers and yachts to sailboats and motor craft – all decorated with flags and bunting –receive this special blessing. The ceremony begins at noon with a procession from the Cathedral Basilica along the Plaza de La Constitucion to the St. Augustine Municipal Marina. For more information, call 904.824.9725 or visit www.sayc2000.com.

KAYAKING DESTINATION – MARINELAND

Combine fun, conservation, and education in the most unique setting for kayaking in Northeast Florida at the Marineland Dolphin Adventure. This kayak trip is perfectly timed with the tides to ensure hours of relaxing exploration making kayaking accessible for ages 6 and up! This eco-educational experience is made possible through partnerships between Ripple Effect Ecotours, Marineland, and UF’s Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience. $55 per person includes free admission to the Marineland Dolphin Adventure. For reservations, call (904)347-1565 or visit www.RippleEffectEcotours.com

ARTS AT WHITNEY LAB AT MARINELAND

Enjoy a performance of Vivaldi’s Cello Sonatas Part I, when University of Florida Instructors, Steven Thomas and Laura Ellis team up with student Alix Gates to play this extraordinary piece for cellos. The performance begins at 2 p.m. at Whitney Lab Center for Marine Studies, located at 9505 Ocean Shore Blvd., St. Augustine, on the border of Flagler and St. Johns counties. Admission is free, but because seating is limited, tickets are required. For more information, call 904.461.4000, or visit www.whitney.ufl.edu.

DINNER AND A CONCERT

Make Sunday evening special at the award-winning The Tasting Room, 25 Cuna Street in St. Augustine. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., three live bands will perform and three courses with a wine pairing will be served. The cost is $75 per person and reservations can be made by calling 904.810.2400.

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.

SUNSET/MOONRISE TOUR

Enjoy the sunset and moonrise from the most unique perspective in all of St. Augustine – the top of the Lighthouse! This special event includes a champagne toast, provided by San Sebastian Winery, hors d’oeuvres from The Reef and an informative overview of the history of the St. Augustine Light Station. The tour takes place from 7:15 to 8:45 p.m. at the St. Augustine Lighthouse located at 81 Lighthouse Avenue. The fee is $25 for non-museum members and $20 for members. Reservations are required. For more information, visit www.StAugustineLighthouse.com, or to reserve a spot, call 904.829.0745.

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News contributed photograph by Bob Honiker

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