Night Watch for Visitors

Colonial Night Watch is a two-day event held in St. Augustine the first weekend in December each year. There is plenty to do and see. In St. Augustine, you will find our town all prepared for the holiday season. Lights decorate the Plaza de la Constitucion, shops and restaurants are open evenings with many providing live entertainment.

Friday evening, the Historic Florida Militia joins the National Park Service presenting “Enemy at the Gates.” This special presentation with a very limited amount of tickets to be sold, takes visitors in small groups through various vignettes representing historical events during the siege of 1740 in St. Augustine. In the past stations have included: Oglethorpe and his commanders discussing the siege, soldiers in the ravelin (fortified entrance area) discussing rumors, reports from Indian allies of the Spanish on Fort Mose, discussions on dwindling supply situation at Castillo, report from Engineering officer, Medical station, troops preparing for surprise attack on Fort Mose’. Please contact the Castillo de Marcos Park Service Office for details on purchasing tickets (904) 829-5606.

Many visitors do not realize that the Castillo de Marcos, built by the Spanish in the late 1600’s still flies under the Spanish flag. Saturday morning, the flag is ceremonially replaced with the British flag in recognition of the Colonial period of St. Augustine’s history. Our Spanish flag is then raised again Sunday morning.

Our annual Christmas Parade begins Saturday at 9:00 am with floats, marching bands, antique cars, horses and carriages. The parade closes its procession with Santa. Our parade is the largest in Northeast Florida. You can follow the parade anywhere from the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at the Mission of Nombre de Dios on Ocean Ave. to behind the visitor’s center on West Castillo Drive.

Saturday, you will find Cannon Firing on the Castillo de Marcos Gundeck with the British Navy unit
10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM, 3:30 PM

British Regulars, Spanish troops and East Florida Rangers demonstrate musket firing on the Castillo South Lawn
11 AM, 1 PM, 4 PM

In Town, the Colonial Quarter museum is open to the public. There you will find a military encampment representing British, Spanish and East Florida Ranger troops. Many accoutrements of the period are on display along with musket firings in the Colonial Quarter throughout the day. Colonial Quarter Stage hosts performances of living historians in period clothing.

Our participants portray a “living history.” Please join us in peace on this commencement of the Holiday Season. A torchlight parade will start at the Castillo at 7 PM, and march to the City Gates where the Public will be invited to follow along St. George St. to the Government house where the Mayor of St. Augustine will welcome those assembled. After the troops have fired three Volleys of Joy from their muskets, the units will be dismissed and those left in attendance are invited to sing along in some old tyme Christmas Carols. St. Augustine’s famous Nights of Lights will be in full swing and the Torchlight Parade makes the ambiance something to remember.

Other Local History to Visit While You Are Here

Things to Do

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