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Posted on: July 9, 2021

City welcomes dignitaries to 200th Anniversary Celebration

florida joins usa 1821 commemoration special event july 10, 2021

Reenactments, procession mark the occasion


View the ceremony program HERE.

Tomorrow, Saturday, July 10, in commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of Florida becoming a United States Territory, the City of St. Augustine will host H.E. Santiago Cabanas, Ambassador of Spain, H.E. Jaime Lacadena Higuera, Consul General of Spain, and Secretary of State, Laurel M. Lee, at two reenactment ceremonies, starting at 11:00am at the Governor’s House Cultural Center and Museum, located at 48 Cathedral Place, in downtown St. Augustine. 

The first reenactment is the Change of Authority ceremony in which Historic Florida Militia (HFM) members and over 120 living history interpreters from New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Texas, Virginia, and throughout the state of Florida, will recreate the “Act of Transfer,” when Spain transferred possession of Florida to the United States.  The living history interpreters will be dressed as Spanish and United States Troops, dignitaries, and townspeople, as they would have appeared in 1821.  Declarations will be made from the balcony of Governor’s House, documents will be signed, and keys to the City will be exchanged in the courtyard.  

Immediately following the Transfer of Authority Ceremony, the living history interpreters will form a procession with horse-drawn carriages transporting visiting dignitaries, and will march to the St. Francis Barracks Parade Grounds, located at 82 Marine Street.  The viewing public is invited to march behind the official processional to the parade grounds.  

The Change of Flags ceremony, which is scheduled to begin at approximately 11:45am, will include public remarks from visiting dignitaries, cannon and musket firing, the playing of the Spanish and United States national anthems, lowering of the Spanish flag, and raising of the American flag.

In addition, starting today and continuing through Sunday, July 11, the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park will host a historical encampment with HFM, offering a live glimpse into the military and civilian life of the early 19th century.  Cannon and musket firing, camp life, cooking demonstrations, and sword fight demonstrations will be on display for the public to experience.  

The encampment is free and open to the public from 9:00am until 5:00pm with a brief closure from approximately 11:00am to 12:00pm on Saturday while the downtown ceremonies take place.  The encampment area of the park will have its own entrance off Myrtle Avenue; but regular admission fees will apply to enter the main area of the park.

On Saturday, July 10, starting at 10:00am until 2:30pm in the Historic Market in the Plaza de la Constitución, the City of St. Augustine presents “Meet the Menorcans,” a local group of descendants and supporters of the Menorcan heritage in St. Augustine, who will set-up tables and be prepared to discuss and display items pertaining to mullet net knitting, how to cook pilau, Menorcans in the territory transition, crocheting needlework, eras of Menorcan settlement in St. Augustine, and subsistence gardens kept in the Menorcan Quarter. 

This weekend’s activities are made possible by partnerships with St. Johns County, University of Florida Historic St. Augustine, the Florida National Guard, and Historic Florida Militia.

Media inquiries regarding the City of St. Augustine’s events may be directed to Melissa Wissel, Communications Director, at 904.293.3307 or via email at mwissel@citystaug.com.

Inquiries regarding the encampment may be directed to Historic Florida Militia at ribob2000@aol.com, and further information is available at www.hfm.club

For a complete listing of all 200th Anniversary Celebration events and activities in St. Johns County, visit www.SJC200.com.


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