Public Spaces

St. Augustine's Famed Nights of Lights Will Sparkle to Life Nov. 20th

The 17th annual edition of St. Augustine's famed Nights of Lights will sparkle to life at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 20 when the flick of a switch will illuminate the oldest city's historic district with the gentle glow of more than two million tiny, white lights. Selected last year by AAA as one of the 12 best places in the United States and Canada to experience holiday cheer and named this year as one of the top 100 events in the U.S. by the American Bus Association, the Nights of Lights provides a luminous setting for an exciting agenda of holiday events and fun through January 31.

During the nearly 250 years when St. Augustine served as the capital of Spanish La Florida, the residents marked the holiday season with a single white candle burning in a window at each home.  Today, the Nights of Lights continue that happy tradition in a grand style that reflects the city's 445 years of history. In addition to the enjoyment that comes from strolling the ancient streets lit by the glowing lights or enjoying the nightly reflection of lights on the waters of Matanzas Bay, both visitors and residents can enjoy a wide range of memorable events, including:

Fight Spills into St. Augustine Traffic; Two Arrested

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Drivers in the area of Cordova and King streets shortly after midnight Saturday had to slam on the brakes and swerve out of the way as a fight spilled into traffic.

According to the St. Augustine Police Department, 24-year-old Donald Kaylor was chasing the victim through traffic when a police officer approached.

As the officer neared, he reported Kaylor punched the victim in the face, knocking him to the ground unconscious.

Kaylor then ran, ignoring the officer's orders to stop. The officer eventually caught up with Kaylor and arrested him.

As he was handcuffing Kaylor, he reported, he saw 22-year-old Michael Buchtel dragging the victim out of the road.

Witnesses told the officer Buchtel was part of the fight, and that it was captured on video.

The officer watched the video, which he said showed Buchtel punching the victim several times as he was lying in the street.

The Civil War in Jacksonville Living History Weekend at Fort Caroline National Memorial

November 20-21, 2010 Jacksonville, Florida

The Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve will present a special event entitled “The Civil War in Jacksonville.”  This living history weekend will be held at Fort Caroline National Memorial and will highlight how the Civil War affected Jacksonville and Northeast Florida.  The event will be open and free to the public 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Saturday and 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Sunday.

The Civil War was fought in all southern states, including Florida, yet few people are aware of the battles and naval engagements that occurred in Jacksonville.  The Union Navy blockaded the St. Johns River and Union gunboats patrolled as far south as Green Cove Springs.

Save Our Bridge in St. Augustine to Receive Preservation Honor Award

The National Trust for Historic Preservation will present its Preservation Honor Award to Save Our Bridge in St. Augustine, Fla. The organization is one of 23 award winners to be honored by the National Trust during its 2010 National Preservation Conference next week in Austin, Texas. 

Built in 1927, St. Augustine’s iconic Bridge of Lions—with its tile-roofed towers, decorative lampposts, ornate metalwork and large marble lions—was in sorry shape as she entered her seventh decade. One of the most photographed and architecturally distinctive elements of the St. Augustine skyline, the bridge had been declared deficient and obsolete and was threatened with replacement by the Florida Department of Transportation. That’s when a tenacious group of local citizens mounted a massive lobbying campaign to preserve the quarter-mile span, which connects downtown St. Augustine to Anastasia Island. 

World Golf Village Annual Community Barbecue Oct 9, 2010

World Golf Village hosts annual community barbecue catered by Sonny’s BBQ Saturday, October 9, 2010 at the WGV Swim and Tennis Center. All WGV residents and their guests are welcome. Seating is limited, please purchase tickets in advance $10 per person, $6 per child (under 12 years of age) or pay $12 at the door.

13th Annual Greek Festival Friday, Oct. 8 – Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010

Everyone can be Greek for the weekend at the 13th Annual Greek Festival hosted by Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. 

Enjoy a delicious assortment of Greek foods, pastries and beverages along with nonstop entertainment performed by the Hellenic Band and traditional Greek dances led by the Nisiotes Dance Troup.  

There's even an Angora (Greek market)and Bakaliko (Greek grocery). 

Location: Francis Field

Directions: Located behind St. Augustine Downtown Historic Parking Facility

Hours: 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on  

Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday

New Blood Perks Up Florida Panther Population

USA Today - By the early 1990s there were only 20 to 25 Florida panthers left out of what was once a large and thriving population – and those that remained were sickly and inbred, destined for extinction within 20 years, experts estimated. So in 1995 conservation managers moved eight wild-caught female pumas from Texas to the area – a reintroduction so successful that between 1995 and 2008 a total of 424 panther births have been documented.