SAINT AUGUSTINE – The Changing of the Guard, a reenactment representing the heightened state of military readiness which occurred in early 1740, will take center stage at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 in downtown St. Augustine.
The Changing is a live reenactment of the daily routine of securing St. Augustine for the night when it was a Spanish colonial city.
Saturday’s program begins at 6:15 p.m. when soldiers will march from the Baberna del Caballo, 37 St. George St., along St. George Street to Goverment House.
The ceremonies conclude with a volley of musket fire, after which reenactors, members of the St. Augustine Garrison, will meet with the public for photographs and to answer questions.
A LITTLE HISTORY
Due to the War between England and France (The War of Jenkin’s Ear), the St. Augustine Garrison was on high alert and posted a guard at the Governor’s residence. This guard was maintained around the clock. The guards guarding the Governor’s residence were ‘locked and loaded’ and ready to shoot any trespassers. When their relief showed up, the newly arrived replacements were inspected, and then loaded their weapons. The existing guards then had to unload their weapons, and the safest way to do this is to fire them.
After the discharge of the muskets, the old guard retires and marches off to be relieved for the day (in reality they just march around the corner.) After this an announcement will be made that the event is concluded and the public is invited to speak with the re-enactors and pose for photos. The Garrison then marches back to the Taberna del Caballo to be dismissed to their families. Many of them will enter the Taberna to relieve their thirst.