Today, a countless number of different cultures thrive together in Florida – a lot has changed since Juan Ponce de Léon first set foot there in 1513. The impact of their stories, traditions and tastes have woven together to form the vibrant, exciting and energetic fabric of the state. Viva Florida 500 marks an important milestone for Florida and an incredible opportunity to celebrate the amazing history, culture and diversity of the Sunshine State. Witness historical re-enactments, taste Florida heritage on the Viva Florida culinary trail, join a cattle roundup, sail aboard a historic ship, and much more.
The national heritage event in St. Augustine on 3rd April 2013 will commemorate the 500th anniversary of Ponce de Léon’s landing on Florida’s Northeast coast. Events will include a ceremonial reenactment of the landing at the downtown bay front, a Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, and dedication of a reproduction of the baptismal font in which Ponce de Léon was baptized. The Juan Sebastian Elcano, the third-largest tall ship in the world, will visit Miami at the invitation of the Spain-Florida Foundation.
Also on 20th April 2013, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra will salute Viva Florida 500 with Spanish-style symphonic treasures including Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol, Gershwin’s Cuban Overture music from Carmen, West Side Story and more. The performance takes place in the Flagler College Auditorium, 14 Granada Street in St. Augustine.