SAINT AUGUSTINE – The 2017 Easter parade steps off at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 16, with the famous Florida A&M University’s The Marching 100 Band as one of the headlines of the day. Prior to the parade, attention will be at the Plaza de la Constitucion where the traditional promenade begins at 12:30 p.m. with a variety of prizes awarded ranging from the best hats to an award for the participant who has traveled the greatest distance to this year’s celebratin.
Leading the colorful Parade of Horses and Hats will be two grand marshals – star kickers currently in the National Football League: Cairo Santos, a place kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs; and Caleb Sturgis, place kicker for the Philadelphia Eagles. Santos attended St. Joseph Academy in St. Augustine; and Sturgis attended St. Augustine High School.
Following the parade, both men sign autographs at the St. Augustine Visitors Information Center, 10 W. Castillo Drive. The grand marshals for this year’s parade are sponsored by Historic Tours of America and Old Town Trolley Tours of St. Augustine.
The Willie Galimore FAMU National Alumni Chapter launched a donation campaign to bring the FAMU band to the parade through a variety of activities to raise funds which support the band’s transportation, lodging, and food, among others. “We are very proud of our alumni and business partners for donations and direct funding, and for producing statewide events like t-shirt sales, raffles and barbeques. The FAMU band will include approximately 180 band members during the parade,” said Cynthia A. Williams, Vice President of the Willie Galimore FAMU National Alumni Chapter and Principal of St. Johns Technical High School and St. Johns Virtual School in St. Augustine .
Highlight of the yearly parade are hats donated by prominent women of the city, state and nation. They’re modeled by horses pulling the sightseeing carriages.
David Chatterton is again heading up the parade. This year’s parade begins at the Old Jail and makes its way down San Marco Avenue through downtown, concluding at the Visitors Information Center. Floats, Shrine units, bands and walking units comprise the remainder of the parade.
The traditional Fromajardis Serenade, the evening of April 16, concludes this year’s Easter celebration. Fromajardis are a traditional Spanish cheese pastry, and they will be served at the closing event. Time and location of thee Fromajardis Serenade will be announced. The cheese pastries are traditionally made by members of the St. Augustine Menorcan Cultural Society.
For more information about the St. Augustine Easter Week Festival, call 904-829-3800 or visithttp://www.staugeasterfestival.com/history.html