April & May: FESTIVALS in St. Augustine!


Sister Hazel performs at the Rhythm & Ribs Festival in 2014. The band will return to headline the 2015 festival on Saturday, April 11 at Francis Field in downtown St. Augustine. Photo by Renee Unsworth

Above: Sister Hazel performs at the Rhythm & Ribs Festival in 2014. The band will return to headline the 2015 festival on Saturday, April 11 at Francis Field in downtown St. Augustine. Top image: Children play games at the Children’s Art Festival in 2014 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. The 2015 event is set for May 16 in the same location. See the list below for more details. Photos by Renee Unsworth

  • April 9-12: St. Augustine Race Week is a new spring sailing event combining large-boat ocean racing and spectator-friendly small boat racing along the St. Augustine waterfront. The four-day regatta, April 9-12, 2015 coincides with St. Augustine’s 450th birthday and celebrates the first city’s colorful maritime heritage. Sailors from Savannah to Daytona are scheduled to race offshore in yachts from 24 to 50 feet long. The downtown races will feature a fleet of junior sailors in Optimus Prams and 420 dinghies. In addition to the sailing events, St. Augustine Race Week includes after-race parties for racers and guests along the downtown waterfront and St. Augustine Yacht Club including live music and catered meals. Many of the competitor yachts will be docked at the downtown City Marina and available for casual inspection by the public. Live music by I-Vibes, Oh No, and Preston Pohl (former local contestant on The Voice) will be offered at after-parties! St. Augustine Race Week is a descendant of the former First Coast Offshore Challenge (2005-2014). Go to www.sarw2015.com for more details.
  • April 10-12: 20th Annual Rhythm & Ribs Festival — Barbecue vendors and competition, live music, kids zone and Kiss the Pig — all at Francis Field, 29 W. Castillo Drive. Rusted Root headlines on Friday, April 10; and Sister Hazel headlines on Saturday, April 11. Go to rhythmandribs.net for more details.
  • April 11: 19th annual Vilano 5K — 5K Run/Walk begins at 7 a.m., with the Fun Run starting at 8:30 a.m. Custom designed T-shirts guaranteed to the first 400 registrants; 5k USATF certified Course Number Fl 14046EBM and Chip Timing Technology by RaceSmith.  There will be multiple water stops along the way and a Country Breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. at the North Shores Improvement Association Community Center, 120 Meadow Ave., 8 blocks north of the Vilano Bridge off A1A. Go to vilano5k.com
  • April 11: Environmental and Climate Challenge Day will be officiated by St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 11 at the Willie Galimore Center, 399 S. Riberia St. This is the first of what is expected to be an annual event. It is free and open to the public.  Kids of all ages are encouraged to attend. In addition to the eight featured speakers, there will be a number of outdoor vendors providing family-friendly information and education on different aspects of the environment. Artwork from at least six local artists will be available for sale and adorn the interior of the speakers’ room. Other vendors include: J. Lee Driskell with her hand-crafted pottery and Anthony Thornton from Exotic Plant Biz. Music during the day will be provided by Dennis Fermin on Spanish guitar, and food vendors will offer refreshments. This non-partisan event is sponsored by the St. Johns County Democratic Party and the Northeast Florida Democratic Environmental Caucus.  For more information, contact: St. Johns Democratic Party, 142B King St., 904-825-2336, info@stjohnsdemocraticparty.org or go to www.stjohnsdemocraticparty.org.
  • April 18-19: EPIC Flower & Garden Expo — A popular event in northeast Florida, the Flower and Garden Expo will delight gardeners of all ages with growers, nurseries and artisans from around the state offering shoppers every item to make your garden all it can be — held at the St. Johns County Agricultural Center, 3125 Agricultural Center Drive. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 18; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 19. Use your Expo pass to receive free admission to the Taste of St. Augustine on April 25! Go to epicbh.org/flowerandgardenexpo
  • April 22-26: 13th Annual Florida’s Birding and Photo Fest — More than 110 birding and outdoor photography events in St. Johns County and surrounding locations. This festival is headquartered at the GTM Research Reserve, located 8 miles north of St. Augustine on A1A North. Go to www.FloridasBirdingAndPhotoFest.com
  • April 25: A Taste of St. Augustine — The 19th annual event will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 25 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Taste samples from more than 20 St. Augustine restaurants and vote for “People’s Choice.” Live music and the annual Race to the Taste 5K are part of the event. Go to epicbh.org/tasteofstaugustine
  • April 25: Feel the Wheels — Hands-on fun for all ages during a static display of service vehicles of all kinds — helicopters, firetrucks, boats, tractors and so much more — from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot of the St. Augustine Outlet Mall, off State Road 16 in St. Augustine. Hosted by Tag! Children’s Museum of St. Augustine (www.tagmuseum.org and www.facebook.com/tagmuseum)
  • May 1-3: 20th Annual Gamble Rogers Music Festival — Three days of live music at area venues including the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall and the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Go to www.gamblerogersfest.org
  • May 1-3: Paseo Pastel (St. Augustine Chalk Walk) — Professional chalk artists, local artists and area students come together to chalk the sidewalks near the St. Augustine Visitors Information Center, 10 W. Castillo Drive, downtown St. Augustine. Go to www.staugustinechalkwalk.com
  • May 8-10: Velo Fest — A 3-day cycling festival that features a parade, road races, live music and more. May 8-9 events will take place at Vilano Beach, and May 10 events will be at Sykes and Cooper Farms in Elkton. For more details, go to www.velofestfestival.org
  • May 8-17: Romanza Festivale of the Arts — 10 days of the arts in St. Augustine — concerts, art exhibits, live theatre shows, dance, street festivals and a parade, historical celebrations and so much more! Go to www.romanzafestivale.com
  • May 17: Second Annual Children’s Arts Festival — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 17 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 1340 A1A South, on the island south of the St. Augustine Lighthouse. This is a free, interactive event that will take place rain or shine. More than 1,300 attended last year’s festival where children participated in a myriad of art, music and dance activities, played historic games, wrote poems, and listened to music and storytelling. Many of last year’s artists, musicians and arts organizations will again be returning. Organizations, clubs and vendors are invited to participate by emailing Carol Gladstone at grambini1@comcast.net by March 1.


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