Juan Ponce de León Día de Fiesta in St. Augustine | Wednesday April 03 2013

Inviation to St. Augustine's Festivities

April 3, 2013, marks the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Florida by Juan Ponce de León. Five hundred years ago, Ponce de León was on a mission of exploration. Historical documents show that on April 2, 1513, Ponce de León’s navigator logged the ship’s position at 30 degrees 8 minutes — just south of Ponte Vedra Beach and just north of St. Augustine. The next day on April 3, 1513, Ponce de León and his crew came ashore to claim La Florida for Spain. To commemorate, St. Augustine will be abuzz with daylong activities hosted by the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration. The below events are free and open to the public.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. with a re-enacted commemorative landing of Ponce de León and his crew at the St. Augustine bay front on the north side of the Bridge of Lions. The landing will feature the firing of cannons from the Castillo de San Marcos.

At 10 a.m., the event will transition to the Ponce de León statue located just east of the Plaza de la Constitución. A ceremonial wreath will be placed on the statue. Speeches will be given by City of St. Augustine Mayor Joseph Boles and Santervás Mayor Santiago Baeza Benavides. Santervás, Spain, is Ponce de León’s birthplace. A blessing will be given by Bishop Felipe Estévez of the Diocese of St. Augustine.

The event will then travel to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine where a commemorative mass will be held at 11 a.m. The mass will be led by Bishop Estévez and will feature the blessing of the Baptismal Font, which is a hand-masoned replica of the 15th century font used to baptize Ponce de León in the City of Santervás. Spanish dignitaries and State of Florida representatives will attend the commemorative mass.

At 12:30 p.m., the United States Postal Service will unveil the 2013 Ponce de León commemorative stamp at the Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College located at 14 Granada St. Spanish dignitaries and State of Florida representatives will attend the unveiling. This commemorative event is sponsored by the City of St. Augustine 450th Commemoration, Florida Power & Light Company, The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, Fountain of Youth National Archaeological Park, Colonial Quarter, St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau, and the United States Postal Service. About the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration.

St. Augustine is America’s first European founded city, established in 1565. It is a city built on history, courage, knowledge, nature, creativity and discovery. It is a city built by artists, outdoorsmen, entrepreneurs and forward thinkers. It is a city that symbolizes discovery in so many ways. The St. Augustine 450th Commemoration is a time for our city to reflect on our past and look toward the future. To do so, we are commemorating the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Florida in 2013, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act in 2014, and the 450th anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine in 2015.

Date and Time:

9:00am - 1:30pm April 3, 2013 - April 3, 2013


Various Locations Throughout City
Downtown St. Augustine
St. Augustine, FL 32084

Free Event


Contact Information:

Jennifer Zuberer



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