Public Spaces

Busy, Patriotic Day at St. Augustine Beach

Busy, Patriotic Day at St. Augustine Beach

ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. -- Thousands of people celebrated the Fourth of July by hitting the beach today.

According to Jeremy Robshaw, spokesperson for St. Johns County Fire Rescue, Independence Day is one of the biggest days for beachgoers all year. 

"Fourth of July is kind of right in the middle of the summer," said Robshaw. "It's right when people are getting into their routines.  So, we generally see a large beach crowd, especially when we have such great weather."

MORE: List of Fourth of July Festivities

Unlike the other two biggest beach days, Memorial Day and Labor Day, the Fourth is not only a time for people to enjoy the beach, but also a time to show off their patriotism. 

Friends of A1A Collaborate with Local Artists For New Travelogue

At the Florida Scenic Highways State Conference held recently at the Hilton Bayfront Inn on June 8, 9 and 10, more than eighty scenic highway leaders saw the premiere viewing of the new A1A video: A1A Scenic & Historic Coastal Byway, A Road That Takes You Everywhere – Always An Adventure.

Signs ask Park Visitors not to Smoke Around Kids

Signs ask Park Visitors not to Smoke Around Kids

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- Slides and swings don't mix with cigarettes, according to the St. Johns County parks department.

County commissioners agreed and now the St. Johns County Recreation & Parks department will place signs in parks saying, "Be courteous. Please refrain from tobacco use in areas designed for children."

Larry Murphy and his wife, Kristi, were at Treaty Park on Wednesday.  "I think that's a good idea. I don't think kids should be exposed to second hand smoke and stuff like that," Larry Murphy said.

His wife added, "I think in public places there should be signs for no smoking around kids."

A group of students approached the county with the idea, which a grant will pay for.

Other counties are placing similar signs in public parks, but St. Johns County officials stress that they are not changing the county ordinance; the signs simply request people to be courteous.

St. Johns County Closures for Good Friday

The Good Friday schedule for various St. Johns County facilities is listed below:


County Offices

St. Augustine Tourists Thankful National Monument Not Closed

St. Augustine Tourists Thankful National Monument Not Closed

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. --  It would have just been the birds at the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in St. Augustine if lawmakers hadn't come to an agreement on the federal budget late Friday night.

"Well I'm glad they passed it.  They should have passed it a long time ago," said tourist Linda Thurmon.

Thurmon was visiting the historic site from St. Louis Saturday.  The monument is one of several national parks that would have been closed down temporarily if the government didn't pass a budget.
"I think it would have been disappointing.  I think a lot of people would have been disappointed," said Thurmon.

With a shutdown avoided, St. Augustine was bustling with tourists, many of them making their way through the Castillos de San Marcos.

"I just love the place.  It's situated on water.  There's a lot of things to do here," said Sam Sodhi.

Update: Castillo, Matanzas Could Close in Govt Shutdown

Update: Castillo, Matanzas Could Close in Govt Shutdown

MORE: Federal Budget Showdown

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- If the government shuts down, so will national parks, including Fort Matanzas and the Castillo de San Marcos on the First Coast.

While parks employees and volunteers would not comment today, many visitors at the Castillo de San Marcos said they specifically came to the fort today, because they knew it might be closed tomorrow.

"This is such a big part of our history, we wanted to make sure that we got here today," said Carol DeVore, who was visiting from Los Angeles.  "It would be a real  problem if it were closed, any of the parks for that matter."

George and Pat Hoy were visiting from Pennsylvania and decided to make the Castillo their first stop, not knowing it may be closed.

Downtown Gazebo Closed Due to Structural Problems

Downtown Gazebo Closed Due to Structural Problems

The gazebo which stands in the center of the city’s historic Plaza de la Constitución and the stage for many small events, has been closed to public access because of structural problems.

During a recent inspection, city staff determined that several of the columns supporting the roof have deteriorated to the point of needing replacement. Until such time that new supports can be manufactured and installed, the gazebo will receive temporary supports that will allow the facility to continue to be used. During the construction phase when permanent repairs will be made, the facility will have to be closed for approximately six weeks. Dates for that phase have not been determined nor have exact costs for the repairs been determined.