Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Head to St. Johns County for a Big Birthday Party and a New IMAX Film

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Head to St. Johns County for a Big Birthday Party and a New IMAX Film

Article excerpt

What kid doesn't love a birthday party? Especially one where the guest of honor is turning 439.

On Saturday, St. Augustine is throwing a birthday party for itself. The party honors the landing of Spanish explorer Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles at the site of the present-day Mission Nombre de Dios on Sept. 8, 1565. He founded what is today the oldest city in the United States.

The party kicks off at the mission at 9:30 a.m. with a re-enactment of Menendez's landing. Mario Hugas, a 13th-generation native of St. Augustine, will play the role of the explorer. That will be followed by speeches and a Mass at Cathedral-Basilica of St. Augustine.

In the afternoon, the festivities move to the Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum on St. George Street. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for a concert by Luis Mario and his Latin Jazz Band from 3 to 5 p.m.

Actors portraying the Spanish royal family from 1672, the year the Castillo de San Marcos was commissioned, will cut birthday cake and pass it out to everyone in attendance. …

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