Did you know that 2013 is the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon first setting foot on Florida soil, back in 1513? As you would expect of any such historic occasion (and one of the oldest in the USA) Florida has plenty of plans to celebrate with a range of events under the title Viva Florida 500, so it is a great year to plan a visit! The festivities particularly focus on the variety and rich diversity that Florida has to offer.
Many of the events take place in and around St Augustine including the Landing of Ponce de Leon and discovery of Florida event. This national heritage celebration will take place on April 3, 2013 and includes a ceremonial re-enactment of the landing at the bay front in the downtown area. A Mass will celebrate this historic event and will include the dedication of a baptismal font, a reproduction of the original in which Ponce de Leon was baptized.
Another great maritime event on taking place that same day is the arrival of one of the largest tall ships in the world to the port of Miami. The Juan Sebastian Elcano arrives at the invitation of the Spain-Florida Foundation.
On April 20, 2013 the Jackson Symphony Orchestra will be adding their contribution to the event by performing Spanish-style pieces in this lively EMMA Concert in St Augustine. Their program will include Gershwin’s Cuban Overture from the opera Carmen and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol.
One of the signature events of Viva Florida 500 is a well-long arts festival in the historic downtown of St Augustine. Known as Romanza Week, the event will run from May 10-19, 2013 and will offer a packed program of re-enactments, drama, performing arts, music and cuisine.
Floridian food is widely celebrated every year with events such as the International Mango Festival in Coral Gables (mid July), the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City (early March), the Watermelon Festivals in Chipley (late June) and Monticello (mid-June) and the Kumquat Festival in Dade City (late January).
In August and September 2013, the Miami Spice event gives everyone the chance to sample the tropical fusion of cuisines that make Miami such a gourmet paradise for foodies. Miami’s top restaurants will offer set three-course meals with signature dishes of international cuisine, all created by the city’s top chefs.
Another annual highlight is the Daytona 500, and there is a whole article on that event with a link below.
To celebrate Florida’s early pioneering history, the Florida Ranch Rodeo Competition and Cowboy heritage Festival will take place in Kissimmee on September 27 and 28, 2013. Ranchers and cowboys gather to compete by riding broncos and cows in what is sure to be a fun family event.
Finally, Orlando will host a Spanish Wine and Food Festival from October 3-6, 2013. The Visitor Information Centre and promenade will be the focal point for food, wine, dancing and cultural displays in conjunction with Orlando’s wine distributors and restaurants.
This informative book offers details of 20 best beaches and coastal cities in Florida
It is also available to download as an ebook:
20 Best Florida Beaches and Coastal Cities