The St. Augustine Easter Festival committee coordinates Easter events each year for the community, which began in the late 1950s. Dave Chatterton with Old Town Trolleys helps organize the Easter Parade each year.
Since 1959, the St. Augustine Royal Family has promoted St. Augustine by portraying this famous “Trio” of Queen Marianna, King Carlos and Princess Margarita Maria from Spain. The Easter Festival committee commemorates this Royal Family and celebrates St. Augustine by choosing three heritage natives to portray the Royal Family who must trace their lineage back through 449 years of history into antiquity in Spain. These individuals represent St. Augustine throughout the year in various events locally and around the United States. Learn more at oldestcityeaster.org
2018 EASTER PARADE
April 1: St. Augustine’s Easter Parade is the nation’s second oldest Easter Parade. The Parada de los Caballos y Coches (Parade of Horses and Carriages) has celebrated Easter annually since 1956. The 2018 Grand Marshal is Miss Florida, Sara Veng.
The parade begins at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 1. It begins north of the Mission of Nombre de Dios, then south on San Marco Avenue, continuing along the bayfront on Avenida Menendez, and through downtown to the Plaza de la Constitución.
The St. Augustine Royal Family will lead the parade followed by their entourage, bands, locally-made parade floats, pirates, festival representatives along with the Easter Bunny to round out the parade.
Arrive early to get a spot along the route. Admission is FREE.
BLESSING OF THE FLEET
March 25: This is an annual event dating back to St. Augustine’s earliest history, where watercraft of all types, decorated with flags and bunting, receive a special blessing from the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine. The ceremony begins at 12 p.m. Sunday, March 25 with a procession from the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine along the Plaza de la Constitución to the St. Augustine Municipal Marina. The Bridge of Lions closes for the Blessing of the Fleet. Spectators can view this along the bayfront near the Bridge of Lions. Admission is FREE.
March 26: The Royal Knighting Ceremony is performed every year during Easter Week by the St. Augustine Royal Family to bestow knighthood upon residents of St. Augustine who have been selected based on their good civic deeds. Each honoree is presented with a medal, a plaque, and a sword-to-shoulder “knighting” by the current Royal Family Queen Mariana. The heritage event takes place at 6 p.m. Monday, March 26 at Isabella Gardens on St. George Street, corner of Hypolita Street, in downtown St. Augustine. The event is FREE and open to the public.
April 1: The annual Easter Sunday Promenade will begin at 12 p.m. Sunday, April 1 in the gazebo of the Plaza de la Constitución, between King Street and Cathedral Place, in downtown St. Augustine.
Participants are invited to wear fancy Easter apparel including Easter bonnets, hats, and costumes. Awards include Most Creative Hat, Best Dressed Pet, Prettiest Hat, Best Dressed Couple, Best Dressed Man and Woman, Best Dressed Boy and Girl, Largest Family, and Family from Farthest Away. Prizes are donated by local merchants and businesses. Admission is FREE.
April 1: The Fromajada Serenade is an annual heritage event that takes place at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 1 in the Colonial Quarter, 33 Saint George St., downtown St. Augustine. Fromajadas are a Spanish cheese pastry that was a favorite of the Minorcan people who came to St. Augustine in the late 1700s. According to tradition, the Fromajada Serenade, involved bands of young men who went about the streets singing at various houses with violin and guitar accompaniment, a song of praise to the Virgin. At these houses, a slight tap or knock would announce their arrival along with the music and if the residents were at home and the music was pleasing to them the reward was a treat of delicious Fromajadas. Today’s celebration include dancers and the distribution of the tasty cheese pastries to the public in the presence of the Royal Trio on historic St. George Street. Admission is FREE.