St Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver told Historic City News that residents remind her daily that we are a really generous and caring community; blessed with many organizations who help people when they need it.
For the first time in its twenty-two year history, Mayor Shaver is putting her mark on the annual light-up event, using it to kick-off a local food drive to benefit more than 30 charitable agencies and many food pantries supported by United Way of St. Johns County.
“Each year, Light-up Night magically transforms our city and makes it sparkle for the holiday giving season. That magic comes from the joyful generosity we show to our family and friends and perhaps most importantly to those in our community who need a little help,” Shaver told local reporters. “Our city’s namesake, Saint Augustine, reminds us that it is in giving that we receive. That’s the heart of how we truly celebrate this season — and of course throughout the year.”
From 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Saturday, United Way of St. Johns County will be collecting non-perishable food donations at five locations. Each collection point is conveniently located so donations may be dropped off after parking and on the way to the Plaza for the lighting ceremony.
Donation collection locations are:
- at the exit of the Historic Downtown Parking Facility,
- on the east side of Francis Field,
- on the front lawn of Lightner Museum/City Hall,
- at Davis Park at the east end of Bridge of Lions, and
- the Cathedral Basilica’s east courtyard
With just hours to go until the start of the city’s annual Nights of Lights holiday celebration, preparations by city crews are nearing completion on public buildings and throughout the city’s many parks as strands of lights are hung over massive live oaks and wrapped around the tall straight palms that line the streets.
Equally busy are the hundreds of residents and business owners who are working diligently outlining nearly every roof line and arched doorway of the Spanish Colonial buildings and the tall sturdy towers of the 19th Century hotels.
Then when the lights are turned on Light-up Night, November 21st, all the hard work pays off as the Nation’s Oldest City becomes a city of light with a magnificent display of white lights that will shine through January 31st.