This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
St. Augustine celebrates the 200th anniversary of Florida becoming a United States territory this weekend. On Saturday historical re-enactments commemorate the change of authority as Spain handed over Florida to the nearly-new United States of America. At 11 a.m. Historic Florida Militia recreates the “Act of Transfer” with living history interpreters taking the part of Spanish and U.S. troops as well as dignitaries and townspeople at a ceremony on the balcony of Government House on King Street. Then the troops march over to St. Francis Barracks Parade Ground son Marine Street for a Change of Flags Ceremony. A parade of re-enactors in horses and carriages and on horseback will make the trek just as they did 200 years ago. From 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Historic Market in the Plaza de la Constitucion you can Meet the Menorcans and learn about the unique culture that has added to the melting pot make-up of St. Augustine. Menorcan descendants will be on hand cooking pilau, knitting mullet nets and explaining skills such as the subsistence gardens once in the Menorcan Quarter. Guided tours of Tolomato Cemetery will be from noon to 3 p.m. at the historic graveyard on Cordova Street.
Camp Jumpstart begins Monday in Palatka and is geared toward helping students focus in on math, English and science and not fall behind in academics over the summer. The event is at James A. Long and Rosa K Ragsdale Family Investment Center and offers informative, structural and fun learning as well as extracurricular activities. Parents will find it a help in getting children ready for the academic year. Presented by the Putnam County School District and Palatka Housing Authority, the camp runs through July 29. Contact Justin Campbell with the School District for more information.
What is being described as a glitch in third party software may have nearly 3,000 people who used credit cards in one of St. Augustine’s 48 parking pay stations getting multiple parking charges on their accounts. A software update by Flowbird apparently led to the problem between July 2 and July 6, according to the City of St. Augustine. Credit card information was not compromised and refunds will be made, say officials with Flowbird, a global vendor for automated parking systems that runs third-part interfaces with credit card companies.
Putnam County Sheriff’s Office detectives are seeking help from the public in identifying a man regarding missing catalytic converters from vehicles in the Bostwick area on July 6. A photo of the individual is posted on the office website. An older model truck in the photo is believed to have been used in the thefts. Call Crimestoppers of Northeast Florida if you have information. Tips are anonymous and eligible for a reward if leading to an arrest.
St. Johns County parents will be getting a say in a controversy over how children should dress for school. On Thursday surveys went out from the St. Johns County School Board seeking input on the student dress code. The survey follows several months of complaints from students at a couple of school and controversy over edited yearbook pictures at Bartram Trail High School. A complaint also has been filed in federal court claiming the district dress code discriminates against girls. Parents are being asked to comment on a variety of clothing choices including whether they think it would be alright for students to wear to school pajamas or lingerie, see-through or mesh clothing and items marked with gang graffiti.
In Putnam County American Legion Post 293 in Interlachen offers Christmas in July Saturday. A bake sale, Boy Scout car wash, blood drive and arts and crafts as well as food will be available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Post on County Road 315.
Fishing is THE thing in St. Augustine this weekend as the Ancient City Game Fish Challenge gets underway at Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor. Kids night Thursday began the four-day, family-friendly event and today the Junior Fishing Tournament began. Saturday and Sunday teams will be competing for cash and prizes in the off-shore Kingfish Challenge. In addition, a two-day Backwater/Kayak Challenge features inshore fishing for redfish. Admission is free for spectators at Camachee Cove, which is just before the Usina Bridge into Vilano Beach.
The annual 5K Bridge of Lions Run is back in downtown St. Augustine early Saturday morning with runners heading from the Castillo de San Marcos over the Bridge of Lions and through Davis Shores on Anastasia Island. Expect some rerouting of traffic and delays.
St. Augustine Amphitheatre is busy this weekend with singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson and special guest Whiskey Myers on stage Saturday for a full capacity concert. On Sunday award-winning Americana singer-songwriter Jason Isbell will be on stage with his band, the 400 Unit.