Florida is pulling out all the stops to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the landing of Spanish seafarer Juan Ponce de Leon in what is now known as St Augustine, Florida, on 3 April 1513. A full year’s worth of celebrations and reenactments is planned across the Sunshine State.
Viva Florida 500
Known as Viva Florida 500, the festivities will get underway in January and continue throughout the year in a celebration of history, culture, and sport.
There will be historical re-enactments, cultural exchanges, a culinary trail, a cattle roundup, the chance to sail aboard a historic ship, the list goes on.
Florida Citrus Festival – January. A Winter Haven, Florida, tradition since 1924.
Picasso: Art & Arena Exhibition – February 1 – 11 May. A specialized exhibition of graphic work and ceramics by Pablo Picasso, featuring pieces that have never been displayed in the United States before.
NASCAR – 24 February. The 55th running of the Daytona 500.
Landing of Ponce de Leon 3 April. Reenactment of the landing of Ponce de Leon in St. Augustine, Florida, mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, and dedication of a reproduction of the baptismal font in which Ponce de Leon was baptized.
EMMA Concert Series – 20 April. 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 in St. Augustine, Florida.
Romanza Week – 10 – 19 May. Multi-arts extravaganza in the historic downtown of St. Augustine, Florida, commemorating Viva Florida 500 with visual and performing arts and cuisine, a parade of re-enactors, and more.
Spanish National Soccer – June TBA. At Miami Dolphin’s Stadium, Spain’s National Football Federation, will present an exhibition soccer match and a chance to meet the players.
Miami Spice – August/September. Miami’s top restaurants will offer three-course meals featuring signature dishes created by world-renowned chefs, featuring the tropical fusion of cuisines from the Mediterranean, Latin America, Asia, and other exotic locales.
Spanish Wine & Food Festival – 3 – 6 October. Spanish wine distributors, along with local and regional restaurants, will turn the Visitor Information Center and Promenade into a celebration of food, wine, dance, and culture.
For More Information
These are just a few of the highlights. For more information on things to do in Florida in 2013, please visit the following web site:
Visit Florida – Viva.
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