Easter in St. Augustine
In the Nation’s Oldest City, the Easter Traditions are rich in history, pride, and elegant fun for all ages. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the many festivities surrounding the Easter holiday. As with all cities, you can find Easter Egg Hunts for the children and wonderful worship services to celebrate the season, but in St. Augustine, you can also find a Blessing of the Fleet, Royal Knighting Ceremony, a Royal Family, Royal Promenade, and the 2nd longest running Easter Parade in the nation.
The St. Augustine Easter Festivities begin on Palm Sunday with the Blessing of the Fleet which dates back to the Spanish Colonial history of this great city. The current Blessing follows the tradition begun in 1946 as a way to bless the commercial fishing boats as the spring shrimping season got its start for the year. Today, any boat whether commercial or private can receive the Bishop's blessing. This is a wonderful event where many come out and line not only the Bayfront but the Bridge of Lions to cheer each boat as they pass by the Bishop on the dock at the City Marina. The event begins at the Cathedral Basilica with Sunday Mass after which the Bishop, Royal Family, and many others walk in a procession to the City Marina. This is not a good time to be in your car downtown if you are trying to get somewhere in a hurry since the procession crosses several downtown streets and moves at a regal pace! See pictures from past blessings here.
On the Monday of Holy Week, St. Augustine Easter festivities continue the historical traditions of the past with the Royal Knighting Ceremony. A free ceremony that takes place in the west courtyard of the Cathedral Basilica at 6:00 pm. At this St. Augustine Easter Ceremony, the Royal Family knights those in the community that have gone above and beyond the call of service to our residents through their generous civil actions. The St. Augustine Royal Family has a coronation each year and is made up of 3 members of the St. Augustine community whose genealogy traces back to the early Spanish Minorcans in St. Augustine. They portray Queen Marianna, King Juan Carlos and Princess Margarita Maria. You will see the Royal Family at the Blessing of the Fleet, this Royal Knighting Ceremony as well as featured in the Easter Parade.
On Easter Day in St. Augustine, you can worship at several special sunrise services both at Vilano Beach and Crescent Beach as well as indoor worship services in churches throughout the city. Additionally, the City of St. Augustine hosts the Easter Sunday Promenade which involves fun Easter activities for all ages and takes place from 12:00-3:00 in the Plaza de la Constitution at the foot of the Bridge of Lions. You can view a video from the Easter Promenade 2015 to get an idea of all the fun taking place. The St. Augustine Easter Parade follows the Easter Promenade beginning at 3:00pm and running from the Mission of Nombre de Dios, along the Bayfront, and concluding at the Plaza in downtown St. Augustine.
I know from experience that the Easter Celebrations in St. Augustine are both a great time and a great history lesson. Whether you are visiting the city or are a current resident, enjoy the season! If you are looking to move to the area and would like to speak with me about what you are looking for, I would love to have the opportunity to show you around this amazing city! Please contact me at (904) 626-3483 or visit my website, selljax.com, to learn more about the St. Augustine area and my real estate services and experience.