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Florida’s Historic Coast Honors Cultural History with an Array of Events

Wednesday, Dec 13, 2023

St. Augustine, Fla. From the land’s very first native people to Spanish colonists to freed slaves, these shores celebrate the beauty of cultures past and present. The National Park Service will hosted free events, Wednesday, Nov. 15 through Thursday, Nov. 16, at the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument to commemorate Native American Heritage Month. Known as Fort Marion in the 19th century, the fort served as a military prison for Native Americans during three separate periods: the Seminole in 1837, warriors of five Plains tribes from 1875-1878, and Apache from 1886-1887. The Castillo is honored to feature representatives from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, the Kiowa Tribe, the Comanche Nation, and the Caddo Nation to lead educational sessions on art, history, and the legacy of the 1870s imprisonments and its impact today. The educational sessions were held Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 9am to 12pm, and Thursday, Nov. 16 from 9am to 3pm at Flagler College’s Ringhaver Student Center. The Gullah Geechee Heritage Festival is a unique experience, celebrating 450 years of West African Culture. On Saturday, Dec. 2nd, Armstrong Park in Elkton, Florida echoed with the sounds of traditional music, dance, food, and crafts to celebrate this vibrant culture. The Gullah Geechee are descendants of Africans who were enslaved on the rice, indigo, and cotton plantations of the lower Atlantic coast. They have traditionally resided in the coastal areas and the sea islands of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. With the landing of Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles in St. Augustine in 1565, Spanish influence and heritage can be found throughout Florida’s Historic Coast. The St. Augustine Spanish Food & Wine Festival celebrates the food, wine, and culture of Spain with a multi-day festival. Foodies, history buffs, and xenophiles can explore Spanish history and traditions while enjoying Spanish wine, tapas, and spirits. The festival takes place February 29 – March 2, 2024, on the Flagler College Campus. For information go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau website at FloridasHistoricCoast.com and www.ViajaStAugustine.com