SAINT AUGUSTINE – The 452nd anniversary of the founding of the City of St. Augustine will be commemorated with the annual Founder’s Day ceremonies at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9 at the Mission Nombre de Dios, 27 Ocean Ave., and Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, 11 Magnolia Ave.
St. Augustine was actually founded on Sept. 8, but the annual event is held on the Saturday following the Labor Day weekend.
The ceremonies begin at the Mission with a reenactment of the landing of the city’s founder, Pedro Menendez de Avilés.
The event continues with a program at the Mission’s outdoor rustic altar that includes a Catholic Mass celebrated by Felipe Estévez, the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine, followed by a meet and greet with the reenactors.
At 1 p.m., members of Historic Florida Militia’s Men of Menendez will lead a procession from the Mission grounds to the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park with the reenactors, clergy, royal family, dignitaries, and the public.
The afternoon program includes a reenactment of the first Thanksgiving and cooking demonstrations of the kinds of food prepared in 1565. The public will have the opportunity to purchase food from local vendors and dine with the reenactors.
At 3:30 p.m., Menendez and St. Augustine’s Royal Family will cut the city’s birthday cake with enough cake to serve 500 people.
The event is free and open to the public with admission to the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park free for St. Johns County residents with proper identification.
Monday, Sept. 11, the City of St. Augustine will continue its annual Ceremony of Remembrance tradition, a community gathering to remember those who died in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
The ceremony will be held at the St. Augustine Fire Department’s main station, 101 Malaga St., at 8:30 a.m. and will . conclude with a minute of silence at approximately 8:45 a.m., timed to coincide with the time the first plane hit the first tower of the World Trade Center Sept. 11, 2001. Then, the St. Augustine Fire Department’s historic 1900 fire bell will ring in a 4/5’s pattern, a time-honored tradition of honoring fallen firefighters.
In addition to the traditional ceremony, Fire Chief Carlos Aviles invites anyone who was personally involved or impacted by the events of Sept. 11 to bring their memorabilia to share – personal photos, mementos, or artifacts. Items will be placed on display inside the fire station prior to the ceremony to be viewed by guests during a public reception immediately following.
Parking for the event will be available in the new Flagler College Parking Garage located on the south side of the fire station. For more information, call the St. Augustine Fire Department at 904.825.1098. Additional details will be posted at www.CityStAugFire.com when available. Follow SAFD @CityStAugFire on Facebook.
LABOR DAY CLOSINGS
Offices for the City of St. Augustine will be closed on Monday, Sept. 4 in observance of the Labor Day holiday, but solid waste collections will continue on their regular schedules.
All departments of the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners, St. Johns County Administrative offices, library branches, and the Pet Center will be closed Monday, Sept.4 in observance of Labor Day.
Garbage, recycling, and yard debris collection schedules for the week will not be delayed. The Tillman Ridge and Stratton Road solid waste scale houses will remain open on the holiday during standard business hours.