Due to a conflict caused by giving city employees another Monday off, Historic City News has been informed that a belated celebration will be held Friday to recognize the February 15th birthday of the city’s founder, the Spanish conquistador, Don Pedro Menendez de Avilés.
The public is invited to attend a brief wreath laying ceremony on Friday, February 26th at 10:00 a.m., at the Menendez statue in front of City Hall, located at 75 King Street.
King Phillip II appointed Menendez to be Governor of Florida and instructed him to explore and to colonize the territory. When Menendez, Spain’s most experienced admiral, arrived off the coast of Florida, it was August 28, 1565, the Feast Day of St. Augustine.
Eleven days later, on September 8, 1565, he and 600 soldiers and settlers came ashore at the site of the Timucuan Indian village of Seloy with banners flying and trumpets sounding. He hastily fortified the fledgling village and named it St. Augustine.
In addition to the laying of a wreath, the ceremony includes a reading of a proclamation by Mayor Nancy Shaver.
The Men of Menendez, a reenactor organization that depicts the military accompaniment of those who first landed and founded the city, will participate in the birthday celebration.