Anyone who loves history, pageantry and just plain fun will love St Augustine. I've never been in a city that celebrates so often or with so much enjoyment. This past weekend was no different. St Patrick's Day is still a week away, but the festivities have begun. For two days there was a Celtic Festival going on at Francis Field with bagpipers, Irish dancers, musicians, Scottish games, and lots more - even haggis for the brave folks who'll try anything once. Saturday morning began with a parade through town, and I know now I should have taken a lot more photos because I remember seeing a lot of really fun stuff. Ever seen storm troopers in kilts? Check this out!!
Last week St Augustine was visited by re-enactors from as far away as Ohio that I know of - perhaps further. They set up camp at the Fountain of Youth and represented a colony in the 1600s. On Saturday evening, we were treated to the re-enactment of Searle's Raid on St Augustine in 1668. Women were kidnapped from houses along St George Street as the raiders forced the defending Spaniards back until they retreated into their wood fort.
Just the week before that was the 493rd birthday of Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, the founder of our nation's oldest city. That was celebrated by a parade down St George Street complete with courtiers, a 17th century pope, Big Head puppets and so many more.
Back in December we had British Watch night - honoring the 21 years of British rule in St Augustine and soon, we will have La Guardia de Noche (Spanish Watch night) complete with a military torchlight parade.
I fell in love with this city the very first time I visited and every week, month and year since I moved here has been filled with more reasons to love it. From our Spanish beginnings and the Native American and African (slave and free) influence to our present day, flavored along the way with Irish, Minorcan, Greek, Scots and British, there is so much diversity to celebrate and we celebrate it all with flair and pride.