Founders Day

St. Augustine was 456 years old in 2021. Each year, the city celebrates the original September 8, 1565, landing by the Spanish with its annual Founder’s Day Commemoration. The celebration of the founding of the city by Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés  takes place at the Mission Nombre de Dios. and the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, with activities from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Historic Florida Militia’s Men of Menéndez, a group of living history enthusiasts present the 2021 Founder’s Day commemoration in partnership with the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios, the St. Augustine Maritime Heritage Foundation and the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. The landing takes place at 10 a.m. at the mission, accompanied by cannon and musket salutes from the adjacent shores of the Fountain of Youth. Following that, a Catholic Mass will be held at the Rustic Altar on the mission grounds at 11 a.m.

At noon, the Menéndez entourage moves to the Fountain of Youth in the Grand Procession, and at 1 p.m. there is a First Thanksgiving Meal re-enactment. A re-created encampment and living history demonstrations will continue at the Fountain of Youth until 5 p.m. Check the calendar of the Historic Florida Militia for current details.

Photos from Facebook

This was the detailed schedule of events for 2021:

Time Activity Location
10 a.m. Menéndez and his entourage approach and land at Mission grounds Mission Nombre de Dios
11 a.m. Ceremonies and Catholic Mass at the Rustic Altar at Mission Mission Nombre de Dios
12 p.m. Grand Procession from Mission grounds to the Fountain of Youth Fountain of Youth
1 p.m. Re-enactment of First Thanksgiving Meal Fountain of Youth
1 – 5 p.m. Encampment and regularly scheduled weapons demonstrations Fountain of Youth
St. Augustine is the oldest continuously-occupied European settlement in the continental United States. Volunteers will re-enact the landing of Menéndez and his crew at the original site of the founding of the “Noble and Loyal City” on September 8, 1565.

Ample, free parking is available at the Mission. Seating is limited, so guests are encouraged to bring folding chairs.

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